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What do we really mean when we say:
"The list contains the people" or "My ideas are contained in the book"
I get contained can mean hold, as in "my cup holds/contains water", but in my two examples above, isn't it being used abstractly? I mean a list is not physically holding people, but just mentioning them. As are my idea, they are more or less represented or embodied by the book.
So it begs the question, what does contain mean really in these examples and how can they use it?
Just confused, i read the dictionaries, but then seems to just confuse me more and give little help. Hoping someone could dumb down the explanation of the meaning for me. Thanks
I guess what I find difficult is what someone means when they say "The list contains people"
To me, the list is not containing anything, just listing it. So the definition of contain as hold, sounds wrong.
OR by contain, do they mean "just to include, have to do with or associated within"?
That is the part of the definition i do not get and i am just confused by. So I am looking for more clarification on the definition. Most dictionaries just provide synomoyns, it is not helpful
Just answer me this, does the word contain mean something has to be physically contained, like water in a jar or garbage in a bag?
Or can it also mean contain, as in embodied or held within, in more an abstract sense such as the example "my ideas are contain in the book"....seems to me we use contain to explain thing, not necessary tangiable that are referred to or 'contained' within something. Would this be a correct assumption?
I would say that if your ideas are contained in a book, then they are physically contained. Your ideas have been converted to words, the words are on pages, and those pages are contained inside the front and back covers of the book.
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Thank you emsr2d2 and bhaisahab
I think i understand now. I was trying to think of 'contain' as only meaning one could contain physical things. But I see now that was wrong. I see that the word has different senses, and can be used to indicated something, such as a book has/represents the ideas through the words and the pages, thus containing.
So to answer my question, contain can mean to physically have physical things, or to include/hold within in more abstract contexts such as the case of the ideas. I also see now many dictionaries define 'contain' as to embrace, to incorporate, to embody, given such examples as shown above.
Thanks for making it clear.
What i was saying earlier is I see now, reading the dictionaries alittle more, that the word "contain" has been defined as 'to embrace, to include or to embody" which makes alot of sense. Many times this definition was given when the item being contained, was more of an abstraction.