Also found in: Dictionary.
1. To pack something into a container or enclosed space of some kind so that it may be stored or carried for future use. A noun or pronoun can be used between "pack" and "in." I packed in an extra chocolate bar as a treat for your lunch today. I'm packing my maternity clothes in a box in the attic we decide to have another baby sometime in the future. I'm sorry, I already packed the toothpaste in the suitcase for our trip. Isn't there another tube somewhere?
2. To manage to fit a lot of people or things into some enclosed space. A noun or pronoun can be used between "pack" and "in." Wow, they really pack the garlic in this dish, huh? Managers of the club have been accused of packing in people beyond its safety limits.
3. To manage to schedule a lot of activities into a limited amount of time. A noun or pronoun can be used between "pack" and "in." You sure packed in a lot in just a week! I've stopped trying to pack so many things to do in every time I travel because I end up not enjoying the location itself.
4. To surround something snugly within some substance or material. A noun or pronoun is used between "pack" and "in." We'll have to pack the finger in ice if we want to have any chance of reattaching it. They packed the stereo equipment in foam to ensure it wasn't damaged during delivery.
5. To quit or give up something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "pack" and "in." I'm so glad you packed in the smoking—I wouldn't have been able to bear it if you had fallen ill from it. Tom packed his job in and moved to the countryside to work on his father's farm.
pack it in
To cease doing something, especially a job, hobby, or endeavor. Once he was no longer able to keep his hand steady, Tom knew he had to pack it in as a surgeon. Video games have gotten too expensive and time-consuming—I think I'm ready to pack it in.
pack them in
To bring or draw in a large number of people as an audience. Let's move to a bigger venue. That way, we'll really be able to pack them in! We need a big act to pack them in.
pack something in something
to surround or enclose something in something. They packed his wounded hand in Ice, then took him to the hospital. Pack the vase in shredded paper before you close the box.
pack it in
1. Fig. to quit trying to do something; to give up trying something and quit. I was so distressed that I almost packed it in. I've had enough! I'm going to pack it in.
2. Fig. to go to bed. Good night. It's time for me to pack it in. We drove to a hotel and packed it in.
pack them in
Fig. to draw a lot of people. It was a good night at the theater. The play really packed them in. The circus manager knew he could pack them in if he advertised the lion tamer.
pack it in
Stop working or abandon an activity, as in Let's pack it in for the day. This usage alludes to packing one's things before departing, and during World War I became military slang for being killed. It also is used as an imperative ordering someone to stop, as in Pack it in! I've heard enough out of you. In Britain it is also put as pack it up. [Colloquial; early 1900s]
pack them in
Attract a large audience, as in A big star will always pack them in. This idiom alludes to tightly filling a hall. [c. 1940]
pack it instop what you are doing. informal
ˌpack it ˈin(informal, especially British English) stop doing something: Your guitar playing is getting on my nerves. Pack it in, will you? ♢ I didn’t like my last job so I packed it in.
ˌpack them ˈin,
ˌpack the ˈhouseattract a large audience; fill a theatre, hall, etc: This group’s been playing for twenty years but they’re still packing them in. ♢ The city orchestra always plays to a packed house.
1. To fit something into some enclosed space for storage or travel: I packed our sandwiches in the picnic basket.
2. To fit something into some limited space: Do you think you could pack in a few more pairs of socks in your bag? There was not much room in the trunk for the bags, but I was able to pack them in.
3. To stop doing something, as a job or habit; retire from doing something: He packed in his career as a railroad engineer when the trains were sold. She wasn't making any money through her work, so she decided to pack it in.
4. To attract a large number of people: The speaker's seminars have been packing in audiences all month. Good marketing will pack audiences in at the premiere.
pack it inInformal
To cease work or activity: Let's pack it in for the day.