knap·​sack | \ ˈnap-ˌsak How to pronounce knapsack (audio) \

Definition of knapsack

: a bag (as of canvas or nylon) strapped on the back and used for carrying supplies or personal belongings

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Other Words from knapsack

knapsacked \ ˈnap-​ˌsakt How to pronounce knapsacked (audio) \ adjective

Examples of knapsack in a Sentence

grabbed my knapsack from the hook and ran to catch my ride

Recent Examples on the Web

If a Vuitton Speedy had to be shared with the matrons who embraced it, if an Hermès Birkin remained, then as now, tantalizingly out of reach, a Prada nylon knapsack ushered in the ’90s by offering a new, transgressive notion of luxury. Nicole Phelps, Vogue, "That’s So ’90s: Vogue Editors Share Their Favorite Fashion Memories From This Year’s Most Trending Decade," 22 Dec. 2018 Harrer and his party, hauling knapsacks, hardware and ropes, scaled the sheer precipice over four days—eating, sleeping, brewing coffee on ledges so narrow in... Susan Froderberg, WSJ, "Five Best: Susan Froderberg on Extraordinary Mountain Ascents," 8 Mar. 2019 Photos from the evacuations show children lined up without their parents, clutching knapsacks or small backpacks, identified only by name tags hung around their necks. Amy B Wang, Washington Post, "What World War II’s ‘Operation Pied Piper’ taught us about the trauma of family separations," 19 June 2018 Whatever the reason, the insouciant charm of the original knapsack remains a symbol of unaffected chic, beckoning even the least sporty among us to strap a nylon backpack over our tutus and hit the streets. Nicole Phelps, Vogue, "That’s So ’90s: Vogue Editors Share Their Favorite Fashion Memories From This Year’s Most Trending Decade," 22 Dec. 2018 Others hide Ziploc bags at the bottom of a purse or knapsack. Erich Schwartzel, WSJ, "Disney World’s Big Secret: It’s a Favorite Spot to Scatter Family Ashes," 24 Oct. 2018 This season, leave the dated knapsack at home and opt for a chic carryall that can hold anything—lunches, papers, a laptop—with genuine flair. Madeline Fass, Vogue, "Shop 15 Sleek Alternatives to the Bulky Backpack," 21 Aug. 2018 The cameras are among a number of personal possessions on display: a walking stick, a watercolor box, Homer’s Civil War press pass, a fishing net, a knapsack, a family photo album. Mark Feeney,, "A different lens for Winslow Homer," 28 June 2018 All of which is to say: the pacing and momentum of Sea of Thieves is designed to feel like the dusty, low-rent accordions that your pirates just happen to keep in their knapsacks. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Microsoft might finally have a forward-thinking game with Sea of Thieves," 30 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'knapsack.' 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 knapsack

1603, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for knapsack

Low German knappsack or Dutch knapzak, from Low German & Dutch knappen to make a snapping noise, eat + Low German sack or Dutch zak sack

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Time Traveler for knapsack

The first known use of knapsack was in 1603

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More Definitions for knapsack


knap·​sack | \ ˈnap-ˌsak How to pronounce knapsack (audio) \

Kids Definition of knapsack

: a bag for carrying things on the shoulders or back

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More from Merriam-Webster on knapsack

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with knapsack

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for knapsack

Spanish Central: Translation of knapsack

Nglish: Translation of knapsack for Spanish Speakers

Comments on knapsack

What made you want to look up knapsack? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


showing courage and determination

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