1. A small pouch, often consisting of two plastic or foil sheets sealed at the edges, used to distribute single portions of products in the form of liquids, powders, or small pieces: a ketchup packet.
2. A small package or bundle: sent me a packet of newspaper clippings.
3. Informal A sizable sum of money.
4. A boat or ship, usually a coastal or river steamer, that plies a regular route and carries passengers, freight, and mail.
5. A short block of data transmitted in a packet-switching network.
[Middle English paket, pekette, small package, bundle, probably diminutive of pak, pack; see PACK1.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.
American Heritage Dictionary Products
The American Heritage Dictionary, 5th Edition
The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms
The American Heritage Roget's Thesaurus
Curious George's Dictionary
The American Heritage Children's Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots
The American Heritage Student Grammar Dictionary
The American Heritage Desk Dictionary + Thesaurus
The American Heritage Science Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Business Terms
The American Heritage Student Dictionary
The American Heritage Essential Student Thesaurus