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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Investigators said the two then snatched and ran off with the knapsack of the Italian man who had put them in contact with the dealer. Fox News, "San Francisco teens used 7-inch combat knife in alleged killing of unarmed Italian cop: police," 31 July 2019 Investigators said the two took the knapsack of an Italian man who had given them a contact to buy cocaine. Susan Miller, USA TODAY, "Case of 2 U.S. teens jailed in Italy cop's killing takes another turn: Officer didn't have gun," 30 July 2019 From bright, bold colors and printed knapsacks to sleek leather pieces, there's an option for any type of personality and style. Teen Vogue, "19 Trendy Backpacks for the 2019 School Year," 5 Aug. 2019 But they were really known for that namesake character, the one with the top hat and a red knapsack over his shoulder., "Don Bolles files: Were the popular Hobo Joe's coffee shops connected to the Mafia?," 30 July 2019 In a statement, the Carabinieri contended that the Americans demanded cash and cocaine to return the knapsack. Frances D'emilio, The Denver Post, "American teens jailed in Italy in connection with policeman’s killing," 27 July 2019 In a statement, the Carabinieri contended that the Americans demanded cash and cocaine to return the knapsack. Giada Zampano And Frances D'emilio,, "Italian officials say 2 American teenagers confess in slaying of Rome policeman after drug deal gone wrong," 27 July 2019 Passengers pile in, as many as 25 per vehicle, each carrying no more than a knapsack. Robert Draper, National Geographic, "Surrounded by chaos, Niger is a nation on the edge," 17 June 2019 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

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about knapsack

Statistics for knapsack

Last Updated

3 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for knapsack

The first known use of knapsack was in 1603

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!