packed


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

be packed (in) like sardines

To be very tightly or snugly packed together, especially in a small space. We didn't want to take more than one car, so we had to be packed like sardines in Jeff's little sedan for the four-hour drive to Moab. Having a concert in our friends café was such a good idea! Sure, we were packed in like sardines, but everyone had a great time.
See also: like, packed, sardine

jam-packed

1. informal Filled or packed to capacity. The bus always gets jam-packed at that hour. I don't think I can fit anything else in the box. It's pretty jam-packed as it is.
2. informal Containing a great deal (of something). I know kale is supposed to be jam-packed with nutrients, but I just can't stand the taste. The band's anniversary album is jam-packed with all their biggest hits throughout the years.
3. informal Having a great many events, activities, performances, etc., scheduled to occur within a relatively short period of time. We're only in Italy for two weeks, but our itinerary is jam-packed with fun things to do and see. The festival promises to be a jam-packed weekend of musical performances.

pack (someone or something) (in) like sardines

To fit many people or things very tightly or snugly into a small space. We didn't want to take more than one car, so Jeff packed us like sardines in his little sedan for the four-hour drive to Moab. Having a concert in our friends café was such a good idea! Sure, we had to pack people in like sardines, but everyone had a great time. I wish you would just let us buy you a bigger backpack! It makes my own back hurt watching you pack those books like sardines into your little shoulder bag.
See also: like, pack, sardine

pack (someone or something) into (something or some place)

1. To pack something into a container or enclosed space of some kind so that it may be stored or carried for future use. I'm sorry, I already packed the toothpaste into the suitcase for our trip. Isn't there another tube somewhere? I'm packing my maternity clothes into a box so we can keep it up in the attic, just in case we decide to have another baby sometime in the future.
2. To manage to fit a lot of people or things into some enclosed space. Wow, they really pack the garlic into this dish, huh? Managers of the club have been accused of packing people into the club beyond its safety limits.
3. To manage to schedule a lot of activities into a limited amount of time. You sure packed a lot into just a week! I've stopped trying to pack so many things to do into every trip I take because I end up not enjoying the location itself.
See also: pack

pack (someone or something) off to (some place)

To send someone or something to a certain location, often (of a person) abruptly, hastily, or unceremoniously. The kids were starting to drive us crazy, so we packed them off to a summer camp for a few weeks. We're excited to announce that we'll be packing the first copies of the book off to stores tomorrow!
See also: off, pack, to

pack a gun

To have a firearm, especially a handgun, currently on one's person. There just aren't guns anywhere in the country. Even most of the police don't pack guns! I make sure I'm always packing a gun when I go through this part of town.
See also: gun, pack

pack a punch

1. To be able to punch powerfully. For such a scrawny kid, George sure can pack a punch—even the older kids are afraid of him!
2. By extension, to have a powerful effect or impact. I don't like spicy food, so I hope this salsa doesn't pack a punch.
See also: pack, punch

pack a wallop

1. To be able to punch very powerfully. For such a scrawny kid, George sure can pack a wallop—even the older kids are afraid of him!
2. By extension, to have a powerful effect or impact. I don't like spicy food, so I hope this salsa doesn't pack a wallop.
See also: pack, wallop

pack away

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 "away." After the dinner party was over, they packed the good dishes and silverware away. I'm packing away my maternity clothes in case we decide to have another baby sometime in the future. I'm sorry, I already packed the toothpaste away for the trip. Isn't there another tube somewhere?
2. To eat a lot of something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "pack" and "away." Wow, that kids can really pack away the cake! He was so hungry that he packed two sandwiches away in about ten minutes.
See also: away, pack

pack down

To press, push, or tamp something downward to compress it. A noun or pronoun can be used between "pack" and "down." I packed down the clothes as far as I could, but I still couldn't get the suitcase shut. We'll need to pack the soil down to create a strong foundation for the concrete.
See also: down, pack

pack heat

To have one or more firearms, especially handguns, currently on one's person. Everyone in that gang packs heat, so I'd steer clear of them if I were you! I make sure I'm always packing heat when I go through this part of town.
See also: heat, pack

pack in

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.
See also: pack

pack it in

1. 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. Sales have dwindled down to nothing. I think it's about time we packed it in for the season.
2. To eat a large amount of food, especially when doing so is surprising. Often used with "can" or "could." For such a skinny little guy, you can really pack it in! I could always pack it in when I was younger without gaining a pound. Now, I just look at a piece of cake, and I seem to put on weight!
See also: pack

pack on

1. To load someone or something onto something, especially a vehicle. They really packed us on the tour bus. I didn't even have enough room to stretch my arms! We packed on as much as we could fit inside the van.
2. To gain fat or muscle mass, especially very quickly. I tend to pack on a few extra pounds during the holidays, so I make a point of hitting the gym in January to trim back down again. You can lift weights all you want, but you need to alter your diet if you want to really pack some muscle on.
See also: on, pack

pack on the pounds

To put on weight quickly, especially a large or excessive amount. Wow, Jim really packed on the pounds on while he was on his sabbatical. I'm trying to pack on the pounds so I can make it on the football team this fall!
See also: on, pack, pound

pack out

1. To fill some space with spectators or audience members. Often used in passive constructions. (In each usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "pack" and "out.") Over 20,000 people packed out Madison Square Garden to watch the Heavyweight Championship. The theater was totally packed out for the movie premiere.
2. To pack someone's possessions in order to be moved out of the current location. We hired a moving company to pack us out and deliver our belongings to the new house in Connecticut. Tommy and I were packing out a couple last Sunday who had a baboon for a pet—I swear to God!
3. To pack something, especially garbage, in order to remove it from one's current location. Used especially in reference to camping, hiking, or other outdoor activities. You can bring bears down into the campsite if you don't pack your trash out when you leave. Let's make sure we pack out all our rubbish when we're leaving.
4. To cause snow to be tightly packed. Often used in passive constructions. Skiers and snowshoers have packed out the snow all around the area. There hasn't been fresh powder for a while, so all the snow on the slopes is pretty packed out.
See also: out, pack

pack the pounds on

To put on weight quickly, either from fat or from muscle mass. Wow, Jim really packed the pounds on while he was on his sabbatical. The coach said I'll need to pack the pounds on if I want to make it on the football team this fall, so I've been hitting the weight room every day after school.
See also: on, pack, pound

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.
See also: pack

pack together

To fit multiple people or things into a confined space or container. A noun or pronoun can be used between "pack" and "together." They packed all 20 of us together into a hot, stuffy meeting room to listen to the boss's boring lecture about workplace safety. I don't know how they packed together so many things into one box.
See also: pack, together

packed (in) like sardines

Very tightly or snugly packed together, especially in a small space. We didn't want to take more than one car, so we had to drive for about four hours packed like sardines in Jeff's little sedan. Having a concert in our friends café was such a good idea! Sure, we were packed in like sardines, but everyone had a great time.
See also: like, packed, sardine

packed to the gills

Completely full; teeming; having no room to spare. I've got so many meetings and deadlines these days that my schedule is packed to the gills! Her mind was packed to the gills with ideas for her new book. I felt packed to the gills after my grandmother's Thanksgiving meal.
See also: gill, packed, to

packed to the rafters

Completely full; teeming; having no room to spare. I've got so many meetings and deadlines these days that my schedule is packed to the rafters! Her mind was packed to the rafters with ideas for her new book. I felt packed to the rafters after my grandmother's Thanksgiving meal.
See also: packed, rafter, to
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

pack a wallop

 and pack a punch
Fig. to provide a burst of energy, power, or excitement. Wow, this spicy food really packs a wallop. I put a special kind of gasoline in my car because I thought it would pack a punch. It didn't.
See also: pack, wallop

pack down

[for something] to settle down in a container. The cereal has packed down in the box so that it seems that the box is only half full. Everything was packed down carefully inside.
See also: down, pack

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.
See also: pack

pack someone or something together

to press or squeeze people or things together. The ushers packed the people together as much as they dared. They packed together all the people standing in the room. They packed the cups together too tightly and some broke.
See also: pack, together

pack something away

to pack something up and put it away. Pack this mirror away where it will be safe. Please pack away this mirror carefully.
See also: away, pack

pack something down

to make something more compact; to press something in a container down so it takes less space. The traffic packed down the snow. Pack the grass down in the basket so the basket will hold more.
See also: down, pack

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.
See also: pack

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.
See also: pack

packed (in) like sardines

Fig. packed very tightly. It was terribly crowded there. We were packed in like sardines. The bus was full. The passengers were packed like sardines.
See also: like, packed, sardine
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

pack a punch

Also, pack a wallop.
1. Be capable of a forceful blow; also, deliver a forceful blow. For example, Knowing Bob could pack a wicked punch, they were careful not to anger him, or She swung her handbag, really packing a wallop. [Colloquial; c. 1920]
2. Have a powerful effect, as in That vodka martini packed a wallop. Thomas Wolfe had this figurative usage in a letter (c. 1938): "I think my play, The House, will pack a punch."
See also: pack, punch

packed in like sardines

Extremely crowded, as in I could barely breathe-we were packed in like sardines. This term, alluding to how tightly sardines are packed in cans, has been applied to human crowding since the late 1800s.
See also: like, packed, sardine

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]
See also: pack

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]
See also: pack
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

pack a punch

INFORMAL
COMMON If something packs a punch, it has a very powerful effect. He is known for designing clothes that really pack a punch. The advert packs a punch with its straightforward, real, no-tricks approach. Note: People also sometimes say that something packs a wallop. Many years after it was made, this movie still packs a wallop.
See also: pack, punch

packed like sardines

If a group of people are packed like sardines, they are standing very close together because there is not enough room in an enclosed space. We were packed like sardines in the ship and could barely move. Note: Other words such as crammed, jammed or squashed are sometimes used instead of packed. The male sauna was really packed. There were about five people squashed in there like sardines. Note: The image here is of tinned sardines which have been tightly packed.
See also: like, packed, sardine
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

pack heat

carry a gun. North American informal
See also: heat, pack

pack it in

stop what you are doing. informal
See also: pack

pack a punch

1 be capable of hitting with skill or force. 2 have a powerful effect.
See also: pack, punch

packed like sardines

crowded very close together.
See also: like, packed, sardine
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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.
See also: pack

ˌpack a (hard, etc.) ˈpunch

(informal)
1 be able to hit very hard: He’s a boxer who packs a nasty punch!
2 have a powerful effect on somebody: Their latest advertising campaign packs a hard punch.Don’t drink too much of his home-made beer — it packs quite a punch!
See also: pack, punch

ˌpack them ˈin

,

ˌpack the ˈhouse

attract 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.
See also: pack

packed (together) like sarˈdines

(informal) (of people) pressed tightly together in a way that is uncomfortable or unpleasant: On the tube in the rush hour the passengers are packed like sardines.
Sardines are a type of fish that are usually sold packed tightly together in small tins.
See also: like, packed, sardine
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

pack away

v.
1. To put something in a container for storage: We packed away the winter clothes for summer. After the trip, I packed my souvenirs away.
2. To fit into a container for storage: The shaving kit packs away easily into your suitcase.
3. To eat a large amount of something: We packed it away at the banquet. The kids really packed away those hot dogs!
See also: away, pack

pack in

v.
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.
See also: pack
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

jampacked

and jam-packed
mod. full. This day has been jampacked with surprises.

jam-packed

verb
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

pack it in

Informal
To cease work or activity: Let's pack it in for the day.
See also: pack
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

packed in like sardines

Close together, crowded. Canned sardines are jammed together as tightly as practically any such object. The condition was transferred to human crowds by the late nineteenth century. Spike Milligan played with it in his poem “Sardines” (A Book of Milliganimals, 1968): “A baby Sardine saw her first submarine, She was scared and watched through a peephole, ‘O come, come, come, come,’ said the Sardine’s mum, ‘It’s only a tin full of people.’”
See also: like, packed, sardine
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
See also:
References in periodicals archive ?
As the part cools and shrinks unevenly, additional material is packed into the cavity and flows asymmetrically around the pin.
The R 575 MF PRO thermoforming packaging machine enables products with a height of up to 120 mm to be packed. In order to achieve this, the machine is equipped with an additional upper web forming station.
Using bench experiments and computer simulations, the team has found that squashed or stretched versions of spheres snuggle together more tightly than randomly packed spheres do.
Nonetheless, researchers motivated by curiosity about a striking pattern of smaller circles packed within a larger circle have now found an extraordinary new formula that mathematicians had previously overlooked.