Meaning of BOX in English


I. box 1 S1 W1 /bɒks $ bɑːks/ BrE AmE noun

[ Date: 900-1000 ; Language: Latin ; Origin: buxus , from Greek pyxis , from pyxos type of tree, whose wood was used for making boxes ]

1 . CONTAINER [countable] a container for putting things in, especially one with four stiff straight sides

cardboard/wooden/plastic etc box

a strong cardboard box

toolbox/shoebox/matchbox etc (=a box used for keeping tools etc in)

2 . AMOUNT ( also boxful ) [countable] the amount of something contained in a box

box of

a box of chocolates

3 . SHAPE [countable]

a) a small square on a page for people to write information in:

Put an ‘X’ in the box if you would like to join our mailing list.

b) a ↑ square or ↑ rectangle on a page where information is given or where an answer can be written:

The box on the left gives a short history of the battle.

4 . IN A COURT/THEATRE ETC [countable] a small area of a theatre or court that is separate from where other people are sitting:

the jury box

5 . SMALL BUILDING [countable] a small building or structure used for a particular purpose SYN booth :

a sentry box

telephone box British English

6 . AT A POST OFFICE box 25/450 etc a box with a number in a ↑ post office , where you can have letters etc sent instead of to your own address SYN PO Box

7 . SPORTS FIELD [countable usually singular] a special area of a sports field that is marked by lines and used for a particular purpose:

the penalty box

8 . PROTECTION [countable] British English a piece of plastic that a man wears over his sex organs to protect them when he is playing a sport, especially ↑ cricket

9 . TREE [uncountable and countable] a small tree that keeps its leaves in winter and is often planted around the edge of a garden or field:

a box hedge

10 . TELEVISION the box informal the television:

What’s on the box tonight?

11 . be out of your box British English informal to be very drunk or have taken an illegal drug

⇨ ↑ black box

• • •


■ types of box

▪ a cardboard/wooden/plastic box

We packed all our things into big cardboard boxes.

▪ a storage box (=for storing things in)

Plastic storage boxes are useful for putting things in the attic.

▪ a toolbox

The hammer’s in the tool box.

▪ a shoebox (=that you buy shoes in)

She used to keep photographs in old shoe boxes.

▪ a sandwich/lunch box

Most of the kids bring lunch boxes to school.

▪ a jewellery box British English , a jewelry box American English

A jewellery box had gone missing.

▪ a money box (=that children save money in)

How much have you got in your money box?

▪ a cash box (=for keeping a supply of money in, for example in a shop)

Thieves stole £100 from a cash box at the school.

■ phrases

▪ a pile/stack of boxes

There was a pile of boxes in the street outside the house.

II. box 2 BrE AmE verb

[ Sense 1,4: Date: 1300-1400 ; Origin: Origin unknown. ]

[ Sense 2-3: Date: 1400-1500 ; Origin: ⇨ ↑ box 1 ]

1 . [intransitive and transitive] to fight someone as a sport by hitting them with your closed hands inside big leather ↑ glove s

2 . ( also box up ) [transitive] to put things in boxes:

Help me box up the Christmas tree lights.

⇨ ↑ boxed

3 . [transitive] to draw a box around something on a page

4 . box sb’s ears old-fashioned to hit someone on the side of their head

box somebody/something ↔ in phrasal verb

1 . to surround someone or something so that they are unable to move freely:

Someone had parked right behind them, boxing them in.

2 . feel boxed in

a) to feel that you cannot do what you want to do because a person or situation is limiting you:

Married for only a year, Connie already felt boxed in.

b) to feel that you cannot move freely, because you are in a small space

box something ↔ off phrasal verb

to separate a particular area from a larger one by putting walls around it:

We’re going to box off that corner to get extra storage space.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.