a container, case, or receptacle, usually rectangular, of wood, metal, cardboard, etc., and often with a lid or removable cover.
the quantity contained in a box:
She bought a box of candy as a gift.
Chiefly British. a gift or present:
a Christmas box.
a compartment or section in a public place, shut or railed off for the accommodation of a small number of people, especially in a theater, opera house, sports stadium, etc.
a small enclosure or area in a courtroom, for witnesses or the jury.
a small shelter:
a sentry’s box.
a small house, cabin, or cottage, as for use while hunting:
a shooting box.
a telephone booth.
a wardrobe trunk.
the driver’s seat on a coach.
the section of a wagon in which passengers or parcels are carried.
Automotive. the section of a truck in which cargo is carried.
the box, Informal. television:
Are there any good shows on the box tonight?
part of a page of a newspaper or periodical set off in some manner, as by lines, a border, or white space.
any enclosing, protective case or housing, sometimes including its contents:
a gear box; a fire-alarm box.
either of two marked spaces, one on each side of the plate, in which the batter stands.
either of two marked spaces, one outside of first base and the other outside of third, where the coaches stand.
the pitcher’s mound.
the marked space where the catcher stands.
a difficult situation; predicament.
Agriculture. a bowl or pit cut in the side of a tree for collecting sap.
a stringed instrument, as a guitar.
a boom box.
Slang. a coffin.
the vulva or vagina.
basket (def 9).
to put into a box:
She boxed the glassware before the movers came.
to enclose or confine as in a box (often followed by in or up).
to furnish with a box.
to form into a box or the shape of a box.
to block so as to keep from passing or achieving better position (often followed by in):
The Ferrari was boxed in by two other cars on the tenth lap.
to group together for consideration as one unit:
to box bills in the legislature.
Building Trades. to enclose or conceal (a building or structure) as with boarding.
Agriculture. to make a hole or cut in (a tree) for sap to collect.
to mix (paint, varnish, or the like) by pouring from one container to another and back again.
to mix groups of sheep that should be kept separated.
to confuse someone or something.
box out, Basketball. to position oneself between an opposing player and the basket to hinder the opposing player from rebounding or tipping in a shot; block out.
out of the box, Australian Slang. remarkable or exceptional; extraordinary.
outside the box, Informal. in an innovative or unconventional manner; with a fresh perspective:
You have to think outside the box and adapt those strategies to your business.
Also, out of the box.
Appletons’ Popular Science Monthly, October 1899 Various
Carolyn of the Corners Ruth Belmore Endicott
L-bas J. K. Huysmans
The Cottage of Delight Will N. Harben
General Science Bertha M. Clark
When the Sleepers Woke Arthur Leo Zagat
Vistas in Sicily Arthur Stanley Riggs
The Boy Scouts on the Yukon Ralph Victor
Sense of Obligation Henry Maxwell Dempsey (AKA Harry Harrison)
The White Desert Courtney Ryley Cooper
a receptacle or container made of wood, cardboard, etc, usually rectangular and having a removable or hinged lid
Also called boxful. the contents of such a receptacle or the amount it can contain: he ate a whole box of chocolates
any of various containers for a specific purpose: a money box, letter box
(often in combination) any of various small cubicles, kiosks, or shelters: a telephone box or callbox, a sentry box, a signal box on a railway
a separate compartment in a public place for a small group of people, as in a theatre or certain restaurants
an enclosure within a courtroom See jury box, witness box
a compartment for a horse in a stable or a vehicle See loosebox, horsebox
(Brit) a small country house occupied by sportsmen when following a field sport, esp shooting
a protective housing for machinery or mechanical parts
the contents of such a box
(in combination): a gearbox
a shaped device of light tough material worn by sportsmen to protect the genitals, esp in cricket
a section of printed matter on a page, enclosed by lines, a border, or white space
a central agency to which mail is addressed and from which it is collected or redistributed: a post-office box, to reply to a box number in a newspaper advertisement
the central part of a computer or the casing enclosing it
short for penalty box
(baseball) either of the designated areas in which the batter may stand
the raised seat on which the driver sits in a horse-drawn coach
(NZ) a wheeled container for transporting coal in a mine
(Austral & NZ) an accidental mixing of herds or flocks
a hole cut into the base of a tree to collect the sap
short for Christmas box
a device for dividing water into two or more ditches in an irrigation system
an informal name for a coffin
(taboo, slang) the female genitals
(NZ) be a box of birds, to be very well indeed
(Brit, informal) the box, television
think outside the box, think out of the box, to think in a different, innovative, or original manner, esp with regard to business practices, products, systems, etc
tick all the boxes, to satisfy all of the apparent requirements for success
(Austral, informal) out of the box, outstanding or excellent: a day out of the box
(transitive) to put into a box
(transitive; usually foll by in or up) to prevent from moving freely; confine
(printing) (transitive) foll by in. to enclose (text) within a ruled frame
(transitive) to make a cut in the base of (a tree) in order to collect the sap
(transitive) (Austral & NZ) to mix (flocks or herds) accidentally
(NZ) (transitive) sometimes foll by up. to confuse: I am all boxed up
(nautical) short for boxhaul
(nautical) box the compass, to name the compass points in order
(transitive) to fight (an opponent) in a boxing match
(intransitive) to engage in boxing
(transitive) to hit (a person) with the fist; punch or cuff
box clever, to behave in a careful and cunning way
a punch with the fist, esp on the ear
a dense slow-growing evergreen tree or shrub of the genus Buxus, esp B. sempervirens, which has small shiny leaves and is used for hedges, borders, and garden mazes: family Buxaceae
the wood of this tree See boxwood (sense 1)
any of several trees the timber or foliage of which resembles this tree, esp various species of Eucalyptus with rough bark
A coffin (1600s+)
A safe; vault; bank vault (1900s+ Underworld)
The vulva; vagina: Her box ain’t no rose blossom (1600s+)
The male genitals, esp as displayed by tight pants; basket (1960s+ Homosexuals)
ny stringed instrument, esp a guitar (1930s+ jazz musicians)
An accordion; groan box (1950s+)
A phonograph (1920s+)
Portable stereo radio; ghetto box: Hey, man, don’t mess with my box/ They were allowed to keep their boxes because their age exempted them from normal court procedures (1970s+)
A very tight and awkward situation; cleft stick; bind: Those guidelines put me in a hell of a box
To die: Oh, she boxed last night (1970s+ Medical)
To kill: Samalson planned to go back Monday morning, but he got boxed (1970s+)
box the compass
noun a small room or large cupboard in which boxes, cases, etc, may be stored Historical Examples Oswald Bastable and Others Edith Nesbit Oswald Bastable and Others Edith Nesbit
noun Word Origin Usage Note
a male child, from birth to full growth, especially one less than 18 years of age. a young man who lacks maturity, judgment, etc. Informal. a grown man, especially when referred to familiarly: He liked to play poker with the boys. a son: Sam’s oldest boy is helping him in the business. a male who […]