Try Our Apps


Gobble up these 8 terms for eating


[pak-it] /ˈpæk ɪt/
a small group or package of anything:
a packet of letters.
Also called packet boat, packet ship. a small vessel that carries mail, passengers, and goods regularly on a fixed route, especially on rivers or along coasts.
Cards. a part of a pack of cards after being cut.
Informal. a large amount of money.
Digital Technology. a relatively small unit of data sent over a network:
Every email you send and Web page you browse is transferred to and from your device in a series of packets.
British Slang.
  1. a painful blow or beating.
  2. misfortune or failure.
verb (used with object)
to bind up in a package or parcel.
Origin of packet
1520-30; < Middle French pacquet, equivalent to pacqu(er) to pack1 + -et -et
1. See package. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for packet
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • For answer Thad drew forth the packet, and held it out to the officer.

  • She thrust the packet into a side pocket and started to the garage with the coat.

    Her Father's Daughter Gene Stratton-Porter
  • He had inclosed the packet in a clean wrapper, but now, a thought striking him, he took it out again.

    Helmet of Navarre Bertha Runkle
  • You see me in the plight in which I came out of the packet within this half-hour.

    Little Dorrit Charles Dickens
  • In a few days the packet received her cargo, consisting chiefly of tobacco and molasses.

    Jack in the Forecastle John Sherburne Sleeper
British Dictionary definitions for packet


a small or medium-sized container of cardboard, paper, etc, often together with its contents: a packet of biscuits Usual US and Canadian word package, pack
a small package; parcel
Also called packet boat. a boat that transports mail, passengers, goods, etc, on a fixed short route
(slang) a large sum of money: to cost a packet
(computing) a unit into which a larger piece of data is broken down for more efficient transmission See also packet switching
(transitive) to wrap up in a packet or as a packet
Word Origin
C16: from Old French pacquet, from pacquer to pack, from Old Dutch pak a pack
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for packet

mid-15c., from Middle English pak "bundle" (see pack (n.)) + diminutive suffix -et; perhaps modeled on Anglo-French pacquet (Middle French pacquet), which ultimately is a diminutive of Middle Dutch pak. A packet boat (1640s) originally was one that carried mails. Packet-switching attested from 1971.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
packet in Technology

The unit of data sent across a network. "Packet" is a generic term used to describe a unit of data at any layer of the OSI protocol stack, but it is most correctly used to describe application layer data units ("application protocol data unit", APDU).
See also datagram, frame.

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Word Value for packet

Scrabble Words With Friends