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

Examples of rucksack in a Sentence

hikers carrying their food and water in rucksacks
Recent Examples on the Web In a video seen by CNN, men, women and young children carrying rucksacks frantically gather their belongings before evacuating the hospital. Sana Noor Haq, CNN, 15 Feb. 2024 Key examples are body armor, helmets, and rucksacks that are often too big for female soldiers and small-stature men. Lolita C. Baldor,, 21 Aug. 2023 Key examples are body armor, helmets and rucksacks that are often too big for female soldiers and small-stature men. Lolita C. Baldor, Anchorage Daily News, 21 Aug. 2023 The new report, however, said that USASOC has too few of those scalable vests, and efforts to address the helmets and rucksacks are ongoing. Lolita C. Baldor,, 21 Aug. 2023 Afterward, the man strolled almost casually out of the park, letting himself out through a gate, with the man carrying two rucksacks still chasing after him. John Leicester, Anchorage Daily News, 8 June 2023 Still based in rural Germany, close to the borders with Switzerland and Austria, Vaude started by making rucksacks, and now sells its hiking, biking, and mountaineering products worldwide. Carlton Reid, Forbes, 8 Mar. 2023 Gathering as many nuggets as his rucksacks can hold, the man sets out for the nearest city to deposit his findings. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 4 May 2023 Going on a backpacking trip and need to fit all your stuff in one rucksack? Anna Popp, Travel + Leisure, 28 Apr. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'rucksack.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 15 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


ruck·​sack ˈrək-ˌsak How to pronounce rucksack (audio)
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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