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From Middle English pak, pakke, from Middle Dutch pak, pakken, ultimately from Proto-Germanic *pakkô (bundle, pack). Cognate with Dutch pak (pack), Low German pack (pack), German Pack (pack), Swedish packe (pack), Icelandic pakka, pakki (package).



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pack (plural packs)

  1. A bundle made up and prepared to be carried; especially, a bundle to be carried on the back; a load for an animal; a bale, as of goods.
    The horses carried the packs across the plain.
  2. A number or quantity equal to the contents of a pack; hence, a multitude; a burden.
    A pack of lies.
  3. A number or quantity of connected or similar things; a collective.
  4. A full set of playing cards; also, the assortment used in a particular game; as, a euchre pack.
    We were going to play cards, but nobody brought a pack.
  5. A number of hounds or dogs, hunting or kept together.
    • 2005, John D. Skinner and Christian T. Chimimba, The Mammals of the Southern African Subregion‎
      African wild dogs hunt by sight, although stragglers use their noses to follow the pack.
  6. A number of persons associated or leagued in a bad design or practice; a gang;
    a pack of thieves or knaves.
  7. A group of Cub Scouts.
  8. A shook of cask staves.
  9. A bundle of sheet-iron plates for rolling simultaneously.
  10. A large area of floating pieces of ice driven together more or less closely.
    The ship had to sail round the pack of ice.
  11. (medicine) An envelope, or wrapping, of sheets used in hydropathic practice, called dry pack, wet pack, cold pack, etc., according to the method of treatment.
  12. (slang): A loose, lewd, or worthless person.
  13. (snooker, pool) A tight group of object balls in cue sports. Usually the reds in snooker.
  14. (rugby) The team on the field.


(full set of cards): deck

Derived terms[edit]



pack (third-person singular simple present packs, present participle packing, simple past and past participle packed)

  1. (physical) To put or bring things together in a limited or confined space, especially for storage or transport.
    1. (transitive) To make a pack of; to arrange closely and securely in a pack; hence, to place and arrange compactly as in a pack; to press into close order or narrow compass.
      to pack goods in a box;  to pack fish
      • Joseph Addison (1672-1719)
        strange materials packed up with wonderful art
      • William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
        Where [] the bones / Of all my buried ancestors are packed.
    2. (transitive) To fill in the manner of a pack, that is, compactly and securely, as for transportation; hence, to fill closely or to repletion; to stow away within; to cause to be full; to crowd into.
      to pack a trunk;  the play, or the audience, packs the theater
      • 1935, George Goodchild, chapter 5, Death on the Centre Court:
        By one o'clock the place was choc-a-bloc. […] The restaurant was packed, and the promenade between the two main courts and the subsidiary courts was thronged with healthy-looking youngish people, drawn to the Mecca of tennis from all parts of the country.
    3. (transitive) To envelop in a wet or dry sheet, within numerous coverings.
      The doctor gave Kelly some sulfa pills and packed his arm in hot-water bags.
    4. (transitive) To render impervious, as by filling or surrounding with suitable material, or to fit or adjust so as to move without giving passage to air, water, or steam.
      to pack a joint;  to pack the piston of a steam engine;  pack someone's arm with ice.
    5. (intransitive) To make up packs, bales, or bundles; to stow articles securely for transportation.
    6. (intransitive) To admit of stowage, or of making up for transportation or storage; to become compressed or to settle together, so as to form a compact mass.
      the goods pack conveniently;  wet snow packs well
    7. (intransitive) To gather in flocks or schools.
      the grouse or the perch begin to pack
  2. (social) To cheat, to arrange matters unfairly.
    1. (transitive, card games) To sort and arrange (the cards) in a pack so as to secure the game unfairly.
      • Alexander Pope (1688-1744)
        Mighty dukes pack cards for half a crown.
    2. (transitive) To bring together or make up unfairly and fraudulently, in order to secure a certain result.
      to pack a jury
      • Francis Atterbury (1663-1732)
        The expected council was dwindling into [] a packed assembly of Italian bishops.
    3. (transitive) To contrive unfairly or fraudulently; to plot.
      • Thomas Fuller (1606-1661)
        He lost life [] upon a nice point subtilely devised and packed by his enemies.
    4. (intransitive) To unite in bad measures; to confederate for ill purposes; to join in collusion.
  3. (transitive) To load with a pack; hence, to load; to encumber.
    to pack a horse
  4. To move, send or carry.
    1. (transitive) To cause to go; to send away with baggage or belongings; especially, to send away peremptorily or suddenly; – sometimes with off. See pack off.
      to pack a boy off to school
    2. (transitive, US, Western US) To transport in a pack, or in the manner of a pack (i. e., on the backs of men or animals).
    3. (intransitive) To depart in haste; – generally with off or away.
      • Jonathan Swift (1667–1745)
        Poor Stella must pack off to town.
      • Alfred Tennyson (1809-1892)
        You shall pack, / And never more darken my doors again.
    4. (transitive, slang) To carry weapons, especially firearms, on one's person.
  5. (transitive, sports, slang) To block a shot, especially in basketball.
  6. (intransitive, LGBT slang, of a drag king, transman, etc.) To wear a simulated penis inside one’s trousers for better verisimilitude.


  • (To sort and arrange (the cards) in a pack so as to secure the game unfairly): stack


Derived terms[edit]




pack n

  1. a group of unwanted people, lower class people, trash
  2. stuff, things, luggage; only in the expression pick och pack


See also[edit]