ruck·​sack ˈrək-ˌsak How to pronounce rucksack (audio)
plural rucksacks
chiefly British
: a bag that is strapped to the back with two shoulder straps and is used for carrying personal belongings and supplies : knapsack
I picked up a rucksack full of spare gear and began to slog back up the steep, slippery grass to the headland. A. Alvarez
As U.S. soldiers gird for war in the 21st century with chemical suits, night-vision goggles and … rifles, there is still one item in their rucksacks that even their great-grandfathers would recognize: chewing gum. Cynthia Schreiber
On the nature hike, I will be just like Sacajawea, Molly thought as she packed her rucksack. Valerie Tripp
The last thing you want is a heavy rucksack slopping about on your back, threatening to throw you off balance … Clive Tully
"I'm hungry," complained the girl. The boy turned on a torch and peered inside a grey canvas rucksack behind him. "There's an apple." Melvin Burgess

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Example Sentences

hikers carrying their food and water in rucksacks
Recent Examples on the Web Ritland says a combat armed infantry member might conduct a foot march while carrying a rucksack, wearing body armor and a helmet, and carrying loads of equipment, such as weapons, satellites, and/or ammunition. Kat Friedrich, Popular Mechanics, 11 Aug. 2022 The 14-liter rucksack has a rolltop closure with reflective drawcords to compress. Outside Online, 23 June 2022 On his last day at the hospital, as Hopkins slung his rucksack over his shoulder and marched toward the exit, the men and women who had taken his vital signs, delivered his meals and monitored his progress showed up to applaud him. Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times, 30 June 2022 Matthew VanDyke, a gaunt, bearded forty-two-year-old from Baltimore, grabbed his rucksack from the carousel and strode purposefully toward the exit. Seth Harp, Harper’s Magazine , 22 June 2022 The commuter in your life will feel special sporting this waterproof rucksack. Gabriela Aoun, Outside Online, 10 Nov. 2020 Unlike long-range Predator drones, which look similar to small planes and fire missiles at targets, the smallest Switchblade model fits in a rucksack and flies directly into targets to detonate its small warhead. Luis Martinez, ABC News, 16 Mar. 2022 The rucksack even received a coveted Gold Rating from the Leather Working Group, which promotes sustainable practices in the leather industry. Hillary Maglin, Travel + Leisure, 14 Mar. 2022 Fitzroy rucksack is made of 10-ounce waxed canvas with a double urethane coating, an internal frame sheet and the brand’s signature Arkiv closure to ensure your stuff stays safe and out of the elements. Danielle Directo-meston, The Hollywood Reporter, 15 Feb. 2022 See More

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

Word History


German, from German dialect, from Rucken back + Sack sack

First Known Use

1853, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of rucksack was in 1853

Dictionary Entries Near rucksack

Cite this Entry

“Rucksack.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Sep. 2022.

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Kids Definition



ruck·​sack ˈrək-ˌsak How to pronounce rucksack (audio)

Last Updated: 25 Aug 2022

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