Packet



[pak-it] /ˈpæk ɪt/

noun
1.
a small group or package of anything:
a packet of letters.
2.
Also called packet boat, packet ship. a small vessel that carries mail, passengers, and goods regularly on a fixed route, especially on rivers or along coasts.
3.
Cards. a part of a pack of cards after being cut.
4.
Informal. a large amount of money.
5.
Digital Technology. a relatively small unit of data sent over a network:
Every email you send and Web page you browse is transferred to and from your device in a series of packets.
6.
British Slang.

verb (used with object)
7.
to bind up in a package or parcel.
/ˈpækɪt/
noun
1.
a small or medium-sized container of cardboard, paper, etc, often together with its contents: a packet of biscuits Usual US and Canadian word package, pack
2.
a small package; parcel
3.
Also called packet boat. a boat that transports mail, passengers, goods, etc, on a fixed short route
4.
(slang) a large sum of money: to cost a packet
5.
(computing) a unit into which a larger piece of data is broken down for more efficient transmission See also packet switching
verb
6.
(transitive) to wrap up in a packet or as a packet
n.

mid-15c., from Middle English pak “bundle” (see pack (n.)) + diminutive suffix -et; perhaps modeled on Anglo-French pacquet (Middle French pacquet), which ultimately is a diminutive of Middle Dutch pak. A packet boat (1640s) originally was one that carried mails. Packet-switching attested from 1971.

The unit of data sent across a network. “Packet” is a generic term used to describe a unit of data at any layer of the OSI protocol stack, but it is most correctly used to describe application layer data units (“application protocol data unit”, APDU).
See also datagram, frame.
(1994-11-30)

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