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 In late March, ProPublica found that products including an in-stock backpack, a wireless mouse, a digital alarm clock and a set of wine glasses offered by third-party sellers all showed a delayed delivery of three weeks. Renee Dudley, ProPublica, "The Amazon Lockdown: How an Unforgiving Algorithm Drives Suppliers to Favor the E-Commerce Giant Over Other Retailers," 26 Apr. 2020 Attach it to your keychain, backpack, or wear it as a pendant on a necklace. Taylyn Washington-harmon,, "3 Keychain Touch Tools That Are a Safe Alternative to Wearing Gloves in Public," 22 Apr. 2020 Shop majorly discounted best-selling luggage, backpacks, packing cubes, and more during eBags’ Spring Deal Days. Claudia Fisher, Travel + Leisure, "Stock Up on Travel Essentials at eBags for Up to 65% Off — Including Tumi, Samsonite, and Patagonia," 17 Apr. 2020 That can include water jugs, canned goods, backpacks, duffel bags and, yes, even dogs. Greg Luca,, "Strength coaches at UTSA, Incarnate Word devise creative home workout plans," 8 Apr. 2020 Last year the organization supplied 1,200 backpacks filled with school supplies to students grade K-12. Akeem Glaspie, Indianapolis Star, "Tamika Catchings on Indianapolis: 'It just seems like I'm family and I love that'," 3 Apr. 2020 As the buses opened their doors, people from Brother Francis Shelter and Bean’s Cafe descended the steps, hauling backpacks and trash bags filled with their belongings. Paula Dobbyn, Anchorage Daily News, "As coronavirus spreads, homeless residents take shelter at Anchorage arenas," 22 Mar. 2020 The Rotenberg school has used shock devices carried in students' backpacks, which were attached to their arms and legs via electrodes. Fox News, "FDA bans electrical shock devices used for ‘aversive conditioning’ on mentally disabled patients," 5 Mar. 2020 The group sets out at 8 a.m., so arrive by 7:45 to register; bring $20 cash and a backpack for water (and adult beverages). National Geographic, "Here’s Mardi Gras like you’ve never seen it," 12 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Incidentally, my friend who spent his work days viewing Earth’s streets from his computer eventually quit his job to backpack across Southeast Asia. Caity Weaver, New York Times, "Bored at Work? The Solution Involves a Small Orange Man," 1 May 2020 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

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

16 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Backpack.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 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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