- Enter a word for the dictionary definition.
in a box
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Box \Box\, n.; pl. Boxes [As. box a small case or vessel with a cover; akin to OHG. buhsa box, G. b["u]chse; fr. L. buxus boxwood, anything made of boxwood. See Pyx, and cf. Box a tree, Bushel.] 1. A receptacle or case of any firm material and of various shapes. [1913 Webster] 2. The quantity that a box contain. [1913 Webster] 3. A space with a few seats partitioned off in a theater, or other place of public amusement. [1913 Webster] Laughed at by the pit, box, galleries, nay, stage. --Dorset. [1913 Webster] The boxes and the pit are sovereign judges. --Dryden. [1913 Webster] 4. A chest or any receptacle for the deposit of money; as, a poor box; a contribution box. [1913 Webster] Yet since his neighbors give, the churl unlocks, Damning the poor, his tripple-bolted box. --J. Warton. [1913 Webster] 5. A small country house. "A shooting box." --Wilson. [1913 Webster] Tight boxes neatly sashed. --Cowper. [1913 Webster] 6. A boxlike shed for shelter; as, a sentry box. [1913 Webster] 7. (Mach) (a) An axle box, journal box, journal bearing, or bushing. (b) A chamber or section of tube in which a valve works; the bucket of a lifting pump. [1913 Webster] 8. The driver's seat on a carriage or coach. [1913 Webster] 9. A present in a box; a present; esp. a Christmas box or gift. "A Christmas box." --Dickens. [1913 Webster] 10. (Baseball) The square in which the pitcher stands. [1913 Webster] 11. (Zool.) A Mediterranean food fish; the bogue. [1913 Webster] Note: Box is much used adjectively or in composition; as box lid, box maker, box circle, etc.; also with modifying substantives; as money box, letter box, bandbox, hatbox or hat box, snuff box or snuffbox. [1913 Webster] Box beam (Arch.), a beam made of metal plates so as to have the form of a long box. Box car (Railroads), a freight car covered with a roof and inclosed on the sides to protect its contents. Box chronometer, a ship's chronometer, mounted in gimbals, to preserve its proper position. Box coat, a thick overcoat for driving; sometimes with a heavy cape to carry off the rain. Box coupling, a metal collar uniting the ends of shafts or other parts in machinery. Box crab (Zool.), a crab of the genus Calappa, which, when at rest with the legs retracted, resembles a box. Box drain (Arch.), a drain constructed with upright sides, and with flat top and bottom. Box girder (Arch.), a box beam. Box groove (Metal Working), a closed groove between two rolls, formed by a collar on one roll fitting between collars on another. --R. W. Raymond. Box metal, an alloy of copper and tin, or of zinc, lead, and antimony, for the bearings of journals, etc. Box plait, a plait that doubles both to the right and the left. Box turtle or Box tortoise (Zool.), a land tortoise or turtle of the genera Cistudo and Emys; -- so named because it can withdraw entirely within its shell, which can be closed by hinged joints in the lower shell. Also, humorously, an exceedingly reticent person. --Emerson. In a box, in a perplexity or an embarrassing position; in difficulty. (Colloq.) In the wrong box, out of one's place; out of one's element; awkwardly situated. (Colloq.) --Ridley (1554) [1913 Webster]