From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishcontaincon‧tain /kənˈteɪn/ ●●● S2 W1 verb [transitive] 1 container/place if something such as a bag, box, or place contains something, that thing is inside it The thieves stole a purse containing banknotes. The museum contains a number of original artworks.In meanings 1,2, and 3, contain is not used in the progressive. You say: What does this box contain? ✗Don’t say: What is this box containing?2 writing/speech if a document, book, speech etc contains something, that thing is included in it The letter contained information about Boulestin’s legal affairs.be contained in/within something The proposed changes are contained in a policy statement.3 substance if a substance contains something, that thing is part of it This product may contain nuts.RegisterIn everyday English, people often use different phrases to say that something contains something else:
The box contained books. → The box had books in it. | The essay contained a lot of mistakes. → There were a lot of mistakes in the essay. | Does this dish contain any meat? → Is there any meat in this dish?4 CONTROLcontrol feelings to control strong feelings of anger, excitement etc Jane couldn’t contain her amusement any longer.contain yourself He was so excited he could hardly contain himself.5 SPREADstop something to stop something from spreading or escaping Doctors are struggling to contain the epidemic. measures aimed at containing political opposition → self-contained6 maths technicalHMAROUND/ROUND to surround an area or an angle How big is the angle contained by these two sides?→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpuscontain• These were the only words it contained.• Crews used booms to contain a large oil spill on the river.• All computer manuals should contain a list giving addresses of suppliers.• The film was banned because it contained a number of extremely violent scenes.• He opened the bag, which contained a razor, soap, and a towel.• Well, the typical mailing list also contains a series of records divided into fields.• The poll, conducted last weekend, contains almost no comfort for the Tories.• At the same time, our ability to detect, contain, and prevent emerging infectious diseases is in jeopardy.• Chipboard and other pressed wood products are made with a resin containing formaldehyde, an irritant and suspected carcinogen.• Some paints contain lead, which can be poisonous.• Cigarettes containing less than 0.8 mg can be classified as "light".• These alkaline batteries do not contain mercury.• I found it more and more difficult to contain my anger.• It is important to eat meat or eggs, as they contain protein and vitamins.• Juices left in bags that contained raw meat can contaminate the cooked leftovers.• Her report contained some interesting suggestions.• Buchanan's writing contains some of the same elements as Duke's.• The film contains some very unpleasant scenes of violence.• a pewter box containing Spanish coins from the 1540s• The layer containing the fingers does not continue to thicken until it fills the fluid region.• Each of the two divisions of meiosis produces two daughter cells, each of which contains the same amount of nuclear material.• The drawer contained various odds and ends.be contained in/within something• Here the element of change is contained within a repetition of the original phrase idea.• The latest twist in a deteriorating relationship between police and loyalist activists was contained in a statement issued to Sunday Life yesterday.• The detailed evidence is contained in Figures 6.2 to 6.4 and Table 6.6.• More details of all these skills are contained in Table 2.1.• A clue is contained in the exit polls.• A number of such dramatic reversals are contained in this book.• Specific debates about the character of class, class boundaries and changes in the class structure are contained within this framework.• Neurotransmitter molecules are contained in tiny bags called vesicles inside the axon tip.contain yourself• A teacher in the back row could hardly contain herself.• Error 53: Package does not contain itself.• However, on July 29, the same day the Reclamation panel reached its verdict, Otis could no longer contain himself.• I simply can't contain myself.• It was a rare scene afterward, with La Russa standing in the Cardinals' clubhouse trying to contain himself.• When the imitation worked and the ball went in, I could barely contain myself.• At last Tam could contain himself no longer.• Meanwhile, Steve Jobs could hardly contain himself with excitement.