1680s, "large box of wood, slats, etc., used for packing and transporting," earlier "hurdle, grillwork" (late 14c.), from Latin cratis "wickerwork, lattice, kitchen-rack," or from Dutch krat "basket;" both perhaps from a common PIE root *kert- "to turn, entwine" (see hurdle (n.)).
"to pack or put in a crate," 1871, from crate (n.). Related: Crated; crating.
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