1793, "a little box," from French cassette, from a diminutive of Old North French casse "box" (see case (n.2)). Meaning "magnetic tape cartridge" is from 1960.
mid-15c., "small box for jewels, etc.," possibly a diminutive of English cask with -et, or from a corruption of French casset "a casket, a chest" (see cassette). Also a publisher's name for a collection of selected literary or musical pieces (1828). Meaning "coffin" (especially an expensive one) is American English, probably euphemistic, attested by 1832.
Thank Heaven, the old man did not call them "CASKETS!"—a vile modern phrase, which compels a person of sense and good taste to shrink more disgustfully than ever before from the idea of being buried at all. [Hawthorne, "Our Old Home," 1862]
"rectangular wooden container," usually with a lid, Old English box, also the name of a type of shrub, from Late Latin buxis, from Greek pyxis "boxwood," pyxion "writing table, box," made of boxwood, from pyxos "box tree," which is of uncertain origin. Beekes suggests a loan-word from Italy, as that is where the tree is native. Dutch bus, German Büchse "box; barrel of a gun," also are Latin loan-words.
Meaning "compartment at a theater" is from c. 1600 (box seat in the theatrical sense is by 1850). Meaning "pigeon-hole at a post office" is from 1832. Meaning "television" is from 1950 (earlier "gramophone player," 1924). Meaning "station of a player in baseball" is from 1881. Graphics sense "space enclosed within borders and rules" is from 1929. Slang meaning "vulva" is attested 17c., according to "Dictionary of American Slang;" modern use seems to date from c. World War II, perhaps originally Australian, on notion of "box of tricks." Box lunch (n.) attested from 1899. The box set "multiple-album, CD or cassette issue of the work of an artist" is attested by 1955. To think or act outside the box "contrary to convention" is attested by 1994.