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English definition of “contain”

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contain

verb uk   /kənˈteɪn/ us  

contain verb (HOLD)

B1 [T not continuous] to have something inside or include something as a part: How much liquid do you think this bottle contains? I've lost a file containing a lot of important documents. Try to avoid foods which contain a lot of fat. The allegations contained in this report are very serious.
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contain verb (CONTROL)

[T not continuous] to keep something harmful within limits and not allow it to spread: Farms in the area have been closed off in an attempt to contain the disease. More police were sent to help contain the violence.C2 [T often in negatives] to control or hide a strong emotion, such as excitement or anger: She could no longer contain her anger and shouted at him uncontrollably. humorous Contain yourself! It's not that exciting.
(Definition of contain from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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