use-icon

HOW TO USE THE DICTIONARY

Learn what the dictionary tells you about words.

Get Started Now!

Some compound words (like bus rapid transit, dog whistle, or identity theft) don’t appear on the drop-down list when you enter them into the search window. If a compound term doesn’t appear in the drop-down list, try entering the term into the search window and then hit the search button (instead of the “enter” key). Alternatively, begin searches for compound terms with a quotation mark.

use-icon

THE USAGE PANEL

The Usage Panel is a group of nearly 200 prominent scholars, creative writers, journalists, diplomats, and others in occupations requiring mastery of language. The Panelists are surveyed annually to gauge the acceptability of particular usages and grammatical constructions.

The Panelists

puzzle-icon

NEED HELP SOLVING A CROSSWORD PUZZLE?

Go to our Crossword Puzzle Solver and type in the letters that you know, and the Solver will produce a list of possible solutions.

open-icon

AMERICAN HERITAGE DICTIONARY APP

The new American Heritage Dictionary app is now available for iOS and Android.

scroll-icon

INDO-EUROPEAN & SEMITIC ROOTS APPENDICES

Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:

Indo-European Roots

Semitic Roots

The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.

100-words-icon

See word lists from the best-selling 100 Words Series!

Find out more!

open-icon

INTERESTED IN DICTIONARIES?

Check out the Dictionary Society of North America at http://www.dictionarysociety.com

pack 1 (păk)
Share:
n.
1.
a. A collection of items tied up or wrapped; a bundle.
b. A container made to be carried on the body of a person or animal.
2. The amount, as of food, that is processed and packaged at one time or in one season.
3. A small package containing a standard number of identical or similar items: a pack of matches.
4.
a. A complete set of related items: a pack of cards.
b. Informal A large amount; a heap: earned a pack of money.
5.
a. A group of animals, such as dogs or wolves, that run and hunt together.
b. A gang of people: a pack of hoodlums.
c. An organized troop having common interests: a Cub Scout pack.
6. A mass of large pieces of floating ice driven together.
7. Medicine
a. Material, such as towels, sheets, or blankets that are used to swathe a patient or body part.
b. A material, such as gauze, that is therapeutically inserted into a body cavity or wound.
8.
a. An ice pack used to reduce pain and inflammation.
b. A cold pack.
c. A hot pack.
9. A cosmetic paste that is applied to the skin, allowed to dry, and then rinsed off.
v. packed, pack·ing, packs
v.tr.
1. To fold, roll, or combine into a bundle; wrap up.
2.
a. To put into a receptacle for transporting or storing: pack one's belongings.
b. To fill up with items: pack one's trunk.
3. To process and put into containers in order to preserve, transport, or sell: packed the fruit in jars.
4.
a. To bring together (persons or things) closely; crowd together: managed to pack 300 students into the lecture hall.
b. To fill up tight; cram.
5. Medicine
a. To wrap (a patient) in a pack.
b. To insert a pack into (a body cavity or wound).
6. To wrap tightly for protection or to prevent leakage: pack a valve stem.
7. To press together; compact firmly: packed the clay and straw into bricks.
8. Informal To carry, deliver, or have available for action: a thug who packed a pistol; a fighter who packs a hard punch.
9. To send unceremoniously: The parents packed both children off to bed.
10. To constitute (a voting panel) by appointment, selection, or arrangement in such a way that it is favorable to one's purposes or point of view; rig: "In 1937 Roosevelt threatened to pack the court" (New Republic).
v.intr.
1. To place one's belongings in boxes or luggage for transporting or storing.
2. To be susceptible of compact storage: Dishes pack more easily than glasses.
3. To form lumps or masses; become compacted.
Phrasal Verb:
pack on
To gain (excess weight): has been packing on the pounds lately.
Idiom:
pack it in Informal
To cease work or activity: Let's pack it in for the day.

[Middle English pak, possibly of Low German origin.]

packa·bili·ty n.
packa·ble adj.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
pack 2 (păk)
Share:
n.
Variant of pac.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

This website is best viewed in Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, or Safari. Some characters in pronunciations and etymologies cannot be displayed properly in Internet Explorer.