English

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Alternative forms

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Etymology

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From Middle English pacquet; either from Middle French pacquet, or formed independently from pak and -et.

Pronunciation

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Noun

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packet (plural packets)

  1. A small pack or package; a little bundle or parcel
    Don't throw the crisp packet on the floor!
    a packet of letters
    a packet of biscuits
    (archaic) a travel bag containing clothing, nightwear and other accessories.
  2. (nautical) Originally, a vessel employed by government to convey dispatches or mails; hence, a vessel employed in conveying dispatches, mails, passengers, and goods, and having fixed days of sailing; a mail boat. Packet boat, ship, vessel (Wikipedia).
    • 1910, Emerson Hough, “A Lady in Company”, in The Purchase Price: Or The Cause of Compromise, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, →OCLC:
      With just the turn of a shoulder she indicated the water front, where, at the end of the dock on which they stood, lay the good ship, Mount Vernon, river packet, the black smoke already pouring from her stacks.
    • 1961 August, “New traffic flows in South Wales”, in Trains Illustrated, page 492:
      Fishguard Harbour, constructed some 60 years ago by the G.W.R., became the packet port for G.W.R. services to Waterford and Rosslare - the latter port itself was a new venture partly under G.W.R. auspices - and to Cork.
  3. (botany) A specimen envelope containing small, dried plants or containing parts of plants when attached to a larger sheet.
    • 1992, Rudolf M[athias] Schuster, The Hepaticae and Anthocerotae of North America: East of the Hundredth Meridian, volume V, New York, N.Y.: Columbia University Press, →ISBN, page vii:
      With fresh material, taxonomic conclusions are leavened by recognition that the material examined reflects the site it occupied; a herbarium packet gives one only a small fraction of the data desirable for sound conclusions. Herbarium material does not, indeed, allow one to extrapolate safely: what you see is what you get [].
  4. (networking) A small fragment of data as transmitted on some types of network, notably Ethernet networks (Wikipedia).
  5. (South Africa) A plastic bag.
  6. (slang) Synonym of package (male genitalia).
    • 2020, Paul Mendez, Rainbow Milk, Dialogue Books (2021), page 157:
      A sleeping, silver-haired man, probably about fifty, couldn’t close his legs because of the size of his packet.
  7. (informal) A large amount of money.
    It'll cost a packet to fix this.

Derived terms

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Translations

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Verb

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packet (third-person singular simple present packets, present participle packeting, simple past and past participle packeted)

  1. (transitive) To make up into a packet or bundle.
  2. (transitive) To send in a packet or dispatch vessel.
    • c. 1635–1636 (date written), Iohn Ford [i.e., John Ford], The Fancies, Chast and Noble: [], London: [] E[lizabeth] P[urslowe] for Henry Seile, [], published 1638, →OCLC, Act I, page 2:
      [H]er husband / VVas packetted to France, to ſtudy courtſhip, / Under forſooth a colour of employment, / Employment, yea of honour.
  3. (intransitive) To ply with a packet or dispatch boat.
  4. (transitive, Internet) To subject to a denial-of-service attack in which a large number of data packets are sent.
    • 2007, Committee on Improving Cybersecurity Research in the United States, Toward a Safer and More Secure Cyberspace
      Typically, one hacker will annoy another; the offended party replies by launching a denial-of-service attack against the offender. These attacks—known as packeting—tend to be of limited duration []

Translations

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See also

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Further reading

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Anagrams

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German

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Alternative forms

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Pronunciation

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Verb

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packet

  1. imperative plural of packen

Portuguese

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Noun

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packet m (plural packets)

  1. (networking) packet (small fragment of data)

Swedish

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Noun

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packet

  1. definite singular of pack