the act or work of a person or thing that packs.
the preparation and packaging of foodstuffs, especially to be sold at wholesale.
the way in which something is packed.
an act or instance of transporting supplies, goods, etc., on the backs of horses, mules, or persons.
material used to cushion or protect goods packed in a container.
material, often in the form of a grease-impregnated fibrous ring, compressed inside a stuffing box or the like to prevent leakage around the moving shaft of an engine, pump, or valve.
Printing. rubber, paper, or other material fastened to the tympan or cylinder of a press to provide pressure to produce a printed impression.

1350–1400; Middle English pakking (gerund). See pack1, -ing1

underpacking, noun Unabridged


1 [pak]
a group of things wrapped or tied together for easy handling or carrying; a bundle, especially one to be carried on the back of an animal or a person: a mule pack; a hiker's pack.
a definite quantity or standard measure of something wrapped up or otherwise assembled for merchandising (sometimes used in combination): a pack of cigarettes; a six-pack of beer.
the quantity of something that is packaged, canned, or the like, at one time, in one season, etc.: last year's salmon pack.
a group of people or things: a pack of fools; a pack of lies.
a group of certain animals of the same kind, especially predatory ones: a pack of wolves.
Hunting. a number of hounds, especially foxhounds and beagles, regularly used together in a hunt.
a complete set of playing cards, usually 52 in number; deck.
a considerable area of pieces of floating ice driven or packed together.
Metalworking. a pile of metal sheets for hot-rolling together.
a wrapping of the body in wet or dry clothes for therapeutic purposes.
the cloths so used.
Obsolete. the state of being so wrapped.
Also called pack wall. a rubble wall for supporting a roof.
any of various other roof supports of timber, timber and rubble, or rubble and wire mesh.
a cosmetic material, usually of a pastelike consistency, applied either to the face or to the hair and scalp: a mud pack; a beauty pack; a henna pack.
pac2 ( def 1 ).
Obsolete. a plot; conspiracy.
Obsolete. a low or worthless person.
verb (used with object)
to make into a pack or bundle.
to form into a group or compact mass.
to fill with anything compactly arranged: to pack a trunk.
to put into or arrange compactly in a trunk, valise, etc., as for traveling or storage: I packed a two-week supply of clothes for the trip.
to press or crowd together within; cram: The crowd packed the gallery.
to prepare for marketing by putting into containers or packages: to pack fruit for shipping.
to make airtight, vaportight, or watertight by stuffing: to pack the piston of a steam engine.
to cover or envelop with something pressed closely around.
to load, as with packs: We packed the mules and then set off for the lake.
to carry or wear, especially as part of one's usual equipment: to pack a gun.
Informal. to deliver (a powerful blow, strong message, etc.): He packs a better punch than any heavyweight in years. His speech packed a powerful plea for peace.
to treat with a therapeutic pack.
verb (used without object)
to pack goods in compact form, as for transportation or storage (often followed by up ).
to place clothes and personal items in a suitcase, trunk, etc., preparatory to traveling.
to be capable of or suitable for compact storage or packing for transportation: articles that pack well.
to crowd together, as persons: The audience packed into the auditorium.
to become compacted: Wet snow packs readily.
to collect into a group: The grouse began to pack.
transporting, or used in transporting, a pack or load: pack animals.
compressed into a pack; packed.
used in or adapted for packing: pack equipment.
Chiefly Scot. (of animals) tame.
Verb phrases
pack in/up, to relinquish or give up; quit: One failure was no reason to pack the whole experiment in. After thirty years of touring, the violinist packed his career up and retired.
pack off/away,
to dispatch: We packed the kids off to camp for the summer.
to leave hastily.
pack it in,
to give up; abandon one's efforts: In 1972 we packed it in and moved back to Florida.
to cease being a nuisance.

1175–1225; (noun) Middle English pak, packe < Middle Dutch pac or perhaps Middle Low German pak; (v.) Middle English pakken < Middle Dutch or Middle Low German

1. See package. 4. band, company, crew. 5. See flock1.


2 [pak]
verb (used with object)
to choose, collect, arrange, or manipulate (cards, persons, facts, etc.) so as to serve one's own purposes: to pack the deck; to pack a jury.

1520–30; perhaps variant of pact Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To packing
World English Dictionary
pack1 (pæk)
1.  a.  a bundle or load, esp one carried on the back
 b.  (as modifier): a pack animal
2.  a collected amount of anything
3.  a complete set of similar things, esp a set of 52 playing cards
4.  a group of animals of the same kind, esp hunting animals: a pack of hounds
5.  any group or band that associates together, esp for criminal purposes
6.  rugby the forwards of a team or both teams collectively, as in a scrum or in rucking
7.  the basic organizational unit of Cub Scouts and Brownie Guides
8.  a.  a small package, carton, or container, used to retail commodities, esp foodstuffs, cigarettes, etc
 b.  (in combination): pack-sealed
9.  (US), (Canadian) Also called (in Britain and certain other countries): packet a small or medium-sized container of cardboard, paper, etc, often together with its contents
10.  short for pack ice
11.  the quantity of something, such as food, packaged for preservation
12.  med
 a.  a sheet or blanket, either damp or dry, for wrapping about the body, esp for its soothing effect
 b.  a material such as cotton or gauze for temporarily filling a bodily cavity, esp to control bleeding
13.  backpack short for rucksack
14.  mining a roof support, esp one made of rubble
15.  short for face pack
16.  a parachute folded and ready for use
17.  computing another name for deck
18.  informal (Austral), (NZ) go to the pack to fall into a lower state or condition
vb (when passive, often foll by out) (often foll by off or away) (often foll by down)
19.  to place or arrange (articles) in (a container), such as clothes in a suitcase
20.  (tr) to roll up into a bundle
21.  to press tightly together; cram: the audience packed into the foyer; the hall was packed out
22.  (tr; foll by in or into) to fit (many things, experiences, etc) into a limited space or time: she packed a lot of theatre visits into her holiday
23.  to form (snow, ice, etc) into a hard compact mass or (of snow, ice, etc) to become compacted
24.  (tr) to press in or cover tightly: to pack a hole with cement
25.  (tr) to load (a horse, donkey, etc) with a burden
26.  to send away or go away, esp hastily
27.  (tr) to seal (a joint) by inserting a layer of compressible material between the faces
28.  (tr) to fill (a bearing or gland) with grease to lubricate it
29.  (tr) to separate (two adjoining components) so that they have a predetermined gap between them, by introducing shims, washers, plates, etc
30.  (tr) med to treat with a pack
31.  slang (tr) to be capable of inflicting (a blow): he packs a mean punch
32.  informal (US) (tr) to carry or wear habitually: he packs a gun
33.  rugby to form a scrum
34.  (US), (Canadian), (NZ) (tr; often foll by into, to, etc) to carry (goods), esp on the back: will you pack your camping equipment into the mountains?
35.  informal pack one's bags to get ready to leave
36.  informal send packing to dismiss peremptorily
[C13: related to Middle Low German pak, of obscure origin]

pack2 (pæk)
(tr) to fill (a legislative body, committee, etc) with one's own supporters: to pack a jury
[C16: perhaps changed from pact]

packing (ˈpækɪŋ)
1.  a.  material used to cushion packed goods
 b.  (as modifier): a packing needle
2.  the packaging of foodstuffs
3.  med
 a.  the application of a medical pack
 b.  gauze or other absorbent material for packing a wound
4.  printing sheets of material, esp paper, used to cover the platen or impression cylinder of a letterpress machine
5.  any substance or material used to make watertight or gastight joints, esp in a stuffing box
6.  engineering pieces of material of various thicknesses used to adjust the position of a component or machine before it is secured in its correct position or alignment

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source's 21st Century Lexicon
Main Entry:  packing
Part of Speech:  adj
Definition:  carrying a gun, often concealed
Example:  The off-duty policeman was packing.
Etymology:  gerundive form, by ellipsis from "to pack heat"'s 21st Century Lexicon
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Word Origin & History

"bundle," early 13c., probably from a Low Ger. word (cf. M.Du. pac, pack "bundle," M.L.G. pak, M.Flem. pac, attested from 1199), originally a term of wool traders in Flanders; or possibly from O.N. pakki, all of unknown origin. Italian pacco is a Du. loan word. Meaning "set of persons" (usually of a
low character" is c.1300, older than sense of "group of hunting animals" (early 15c.). Extended to collective sets of playing cards (1590s), floating ice (1791), cigarettes (1924), and submarines (1943). Meaning "knapsack on a frame" is attested from 1916. Pack-horse is from late 15c.; packsaddle "saddle for supporting packs on the back of a mount" is from late 14c. (pakke sadil). Pack of lies first attested 1763.

c.1300, "to put together in a pack," from pack (n.), possibly influenced by Anglo-Fr. empaker (1294) and M.L. paccare "pack." Some senses suggesting "make secret arrangement" are from an Elizabethan mispronunciation of pact. Sense of "to carry or convey in a pack" (1805) led
to general sense of "to carry in any manner;" hence to pack heat "carry a gun," underworld slang from 1940s; "to be capable of delivering" (a punch, etc.) is from 1921.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

pack (pāk)
v. packed, pack·ing, packs

  1. To fill, stuff, plug, or tampon.

  2. To enwrap or envelop the body in a sheet, blanket, or other covering.

  3. To apply a dressing or covering to a surgical site.

  1. The swathing of a patient or a body part in hot, cold, wet, or dry materials, such as cloth towels, sheets, or blankets.

  2. The materials so used.

  3. An ice pack; an ice bag.

packing n.

  1. The insertion of gauze or other material into a body cavity or wound for therapeutic purposes.

  2. The material so used; a pack.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Britannica


in mathematics, a type of problem in combinatorial geometry that involves placement of figures of a given size or shape within another given figure-with greatest economy or subject to some other restriction. The problem of placement of a given number of spheres within a given volume of space is an example of a packing problem.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
For motoring, space is precious, and clothes should be chosen with the object of packing into small dimensions.
Use plastic bags as packing material when sending gifts or packing for a move.
It's easy, since this place-the library-is crowded, packing in the equivalent of a fourth of the student population on a good day.
We could nationalize the public universities and send all the packing to reeducation camps.
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