Containment is a way to keep something bad from spreading. If you get chicken pox, you won't be allowed back in school until you're not contagious anymore. Your school's aiming for containment of the disease by keeping you away from everyone else.

Containment is also a foreign policy strategy. If one country is stirring up trouble by sending weapons and fighters into neighboring countries, other countries can join together and enact a policy of containment, to isolate the rogue country and keep it from causing chaos outside its borders. In a nuclear reactor, the containment system is the back-up system that's supposed to keep dangerous radiation from leaking out into the atmosphere or water when there's an accident.

Definitions of containment
  1. noun
    the act of containing; keeping something from spreading
    “the containment of the AIDS epidemic”
    “the containment of the rebellion”
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    ring containment
    a strategy of defense in cases of bioterrorism; vaccination only of people exposed and others who are in contact with them
    type of:
    the act of controlling by restraining someone or something
  2. noun
    (physics) a system designed to prevent the accidental release of radioactive material from a reactor
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    type of:
    instrumentality that combines interrelated interacting artifacts designed to work as a coherent entity
  3. noun
    a policy of creating strategic alliances in order to check the expansion of a hostile power or ideology or to force it to negotiate peacefully
    containment of communist expansion was a central principle of United States' foreign policy from 1947 to the 1975”
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    type of:
    a plan of action adopted by an individual or social group
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