back·​pack | \ ˈbak-ˌpak How to pronounce backpack (audio) \

Definition of backpack

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a load carried on the back
b : a camping pack (as of canvas or nylon) supported by a usually aluminum frame and carried on the back
2 : a piece of equipment designed for use while being carried on the back


backpacked; backpacking; backpacks

Definition of backpack (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to carry (food or equipment) on the back especially in hiking

intransitive verb

: to hike with a backpack

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Other Words from backpack


backpacker noun

Synonyms for backpack

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of backpack in a Sentence

Noun stuffed her backpack with so many books that she could barely walk Verb After college, she backpacked through Europe. We're planning to go backpacking in a national park this summer.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Asbury, who seized the marijuana, also found a bottle of vodka in the backpack with the seal broken. Mary Kay Cabot, cleveland, "Kareem Hunt tells police during stop he would’ve failed a drug test; says it ‘hurts my soul’ he’s not in Super Bowl," 27 Jan. 2020 Plus, its sleek design fits into any cupholder, messenger bag, or backpack with ease. 10. Cassidy Olsen, USA TODAY, "20 great gifts your coworkers will actually use," 29 Oct. 2019 Some teachers fill about a half-dozen kids’ backpacks with food on Fridays to take home over the weekend. Taylor Deville,, "No trick: Hillcrest Elementary School to hold food drive at inaugural trunk-or-treat," 28 Oct. 2019 Rodriguez grabbed her laptop, phone, camera and chargers, stuffed her backpack with snacks and water, and left her dorm in pajamas. Anchorage Daily News, "More homes burned, firefighter injured as Northern California’s Kincade blaze grows," 28 Oct. 2019 Last month, Manila airport officials seized a bag and a backpack with methamphetamine that were abandoned at the airport’s arrival area. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Philippines: Indonesia woman nabbed with drugs from Cambodia," 7 Oct. 2019 Minnesota United’s free farmers market on Aug. 13 distributed 14,000 pounds of food, 725 backpacks with school supplies and 100 blizzard bags for winter preparedness to about 600 residents. Andy Greder, Twin Cities, "Loons will be missing three starters for Thursday’s game at Kansas City," 20 Aug. 2019 At the Back2School fair, where kids walked from room-to-room getting picking up backpacks with supplies for the upcoming year as upbeat music played. Paul Cobler, Dallas News, "Once a small food pantry, Frisco Family Services has spent 25 years growing with the city," 15 Aug. 2019 No strollers, no diaper bags, no backpacks with a half-dozen dangling water bottles — one for each family member because heaven forbid different lips touching the same surface. Scott Craven, azcentral, "Is going to Disneyland or Disney World more fun without kids? Definitely. Here's why.," 2 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Whitson, his 13-year-old son and girlfriend, Krystal Ramirez, had decided to spend Father's Day weekend backpacking the Arroyo Seco River. Cheri Mossburg, CNN, "Two hikers found a message in a bottle and helped rescue a stranded family. Now the family wants to thank them," 11 Sep. 2019 An experienced hiker and an emergency medical technician, Komins had food, water, backpacking supplies, his cell phone and a GPS device with him on the hike, according to the sheriff. Susan Scutti, CNN, "A 3-day search for a missing California hiker ends with the discovery of his body," 19 Aug. 2019 Whitson, his 13-year-old son and girlfriend, Krystal Ramirez, had decided to spend Father’s Day weekend backpacking the Arroyo Seco River. Wire Service, The Mercury News, "Two California hikers found a message in a bottle and helped rescue a stranded family. Now the family wants to thank them.," 11 Sep. 2019 Others come to backpack along the famous Lost Coast Trail-North, a nearly 25-mile beach trek that generally takes three days, requires a permit (free, with a $6 reservation fee) and is subject to tides that periodically make portions impassable. Elaine Glusac, New York Times, "On California’s Lost Coast: Sea Lions, Surf and Squiggly Roads," 31 Aug. 2019 All proceeds go directly to Scouts attending High Adventure trips this coming summer, including Florida Sea Base and backpacking through the Pacific Northwest., "Community News For The Farmington Valley Edition," 30 Aug. 2019 There was the couple who backpacked the loop, staying at AirBnBs along the way, and the family that brought their rescue dog along for the entire journey. Heather Knight,, "Forget driving. It’s time to rethink the 49 Mile Scenic Drive with #TotalSF," 9 Aug. 2019 Last year, however, a 22-year-old British woman was killed while backpacking there, according to Reuters. Hillary Leung, Time, "An Australian Tourist Was Shot Dead in New Zealand," 16 Aug. 2019 A year later, Wisconsin native Kari Bowerman, 27, and Canadian Cathy Huynh, 26, were backpacking in Vietnam. Elizabeth Llorente, Fox News, "When dream vacations turn into tragedies: Many deaths at popular resorts remain mysteries," 12 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'backpack.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of backpack


1897, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1899, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

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Time Traveler for backpack

Time Traveler

The first known use of backpack was in 1897

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Statistics for backpack

Last Updated

8 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Backpack.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for backpack


How to pronounce backpack (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of backpack

 (Entry 1 of 2)

chiefly US : a bag for carrying things that has two shoulder straps and is carried on the back



English Language Learners Definition of backpack (Entry 2 of 2)

: to hike or travel with a backpack


back·​pack | \ ˈbak-ˌpak How to pronounce backpack (audio) \

Kids Definition of backpack

: a bag worn on the back for carrying things

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