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Boîte Meaning & Translation – Box, Can in French

Boîte Meaning & Translation – Box, Can in French

In today’s lesson we’ll have a close look at the word boîte. The most common meaning of boîte is “box”. However, this versatile word has many other meanings including “can” and even “nightclub”! Keep reading to master how to use this word with example sentences and audio.

Boîte (can, box, company) French Word of the Day

Boîte Meaning & Translation – Box, Can in French

Boîte– word origin

Accordng to, The French word boîte dates back to the 12th century and comes from the Latin words buxita and buxis, which mean “box”.

Example sentences with boîte

As you’re about to see, the word boîte has a very wide variety of usages and that’s why it made its way int our Word of the Day lessons.


For our first two example sentences, boîte simply means “box”.

Amazon envoie les articles en boîtes en carton.

Amazon sends items in cardboard boxes.

Envoyez la letter à ma boîte postale, s’il vous plaît.

Please send the letter to my PO box.

Example of how to use "boîte" (box) in French.


Boîte also means “can” as in “can” of soup or tuna. The full term boîte en conserve means tin or steel can.

Nous achetons trois boîtes de thon.

We are buying three cans of tuna.

Excusez-moi, où sont les boîtes de conserve, s’il vous plaît ?

Excuse me, where are the cans, please?

In informal or almost slang language, boîte translates to “company” (place where people work). This example sentences uses the slang expression en avoir marre, which means “to be sick or tired of”. We covered this expressionin a previous Word of the Day lesson.

Company (place to work)

Je travaille dans cette boîte depuis trois ans et j’en ai marre de mon patron !

I’ve been working in this office for three years and I’m sick of my boss!


The term boîte de nuit translates to “nightclub” or simply “club”.

Les jeunes étudiants sortent en boîte de nuit ce soir.

The young students are going to a nightclub this evening.

Vehicle’s transmission

The term boîte de vitesse refers to the transmission or gearbox of a vehicle. A boîte manuelle is a manual shift and a boîte automatique is an automatic shift.

J’ai choisi une boîte de vitesses automatique pour ma nouvelle voiture.

I chose an automatic transmission for my new car.


Et voilà ! You now know the many meanings and uses of boîte in French. Now check out our lesson covering the adjective drôle, which also has multiple meanings and usages.

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David Issokson

David Issokson is a lifelong language enthusiast. His head is swimming with words and sounds as he speaks over six languages. Of all the languages he speaks, he's the most passionate about French! David has helped hundreds of students to improve their French in his private online lessons. When procrastinating working on his site,, David enjoys his time skiing and hiking in Teton Valley, Idaho.

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