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Meaning of “contain” in the English Dictionary

"contain" in British English

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containverb

uk   /kənˈteɪn/  us   /kənˈteɪn/
  • 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 ​lost a ​file containing a lot of ​importantdocuments. Try to ​avoidfoods which contain a lot of ​fat. The ​allegations contained in this ​report are very ​serious.

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

  • 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 ​strongemotion, such as ​excitement or ​anger: She could no ​longer contain her ​anger and ​startedyelling at him.humorous Contain yourself! It's not that ​exciting.
(Definition of contain from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"contain" in American English

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containverb [T]

 us   /kənˈteɪn/
  • contain verb [T] (HAVE INSIDE)

(of an ​object or ​area) to have an ​amount of something inside or within it: How much ​liquid does this ​bottle contain? Each ​largecrate contains 12 ​boxes.
  • contain verb [T] (INCLUDE)

to have as a ​part, or be ​equal to; ​include: The ​information contained on ​forms would be ​keptstrictly confidential. Each ​foodserving contains 95 ​calories. You could ​retrieve all ​files that contained ​certainkey words.
  • contain verb [T] (CONTROL)

to ​keep within ​limits; not to ​allow to ​spread: Medical ​teams were ​scrambling to contain the ​illness that has already ​killed thousands in ​LatinAmerica.
(Definition of contain from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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“contain” in British English

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