sandbag

noun
sand·​bag | \ ˈsan(d)-ˌbag How to pronounce sandbag (audio) \

Definition of sandbag

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a bag filled with sand and used in fortifications, as ballast, or as a weapon

sandbag

verb
sandbagged; sandbagging; sandbags

Definition of sandbag (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to bank, stop up, or weight with sandbags
2a : to hit or stun with or as if with a sandbag
b : to treat unfairly or harshly
c : to coerce by crude means are raiding the Treasury and sandbagging the government— C. W. Ferguson
d : to conceal or misrepresent one's true position, potential, or intent especially in order to gain an advantage over

intransitive verb

: to hide the truth about oneself so as to gain an advantage over another

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Other Words from sandbag

Verb

sandbagger noun

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Verb

In the 19th century, the verb sandbag began to be used to describe the act of bludgeoning someone with a small, sand-filled bag - a tactic employed by ruffians, usually as a prelude to robbing their victims. The verb went on to develop metaphorical extensions, such as "to coerce by crude means." By the 1940s, it was being used of a strategy in which a poker player with a good hand bets weakly, in order to draw other players into holding on to their hands and raising the bet. The use of sandbag has since evolved to refer to a general strategy of playing down one's position in order to gain some sort of advantage.

Examples of sandbag in a Sentence

Verb He claimed he was playing badly because of an injury, but I think he was sandbagging. I think he was sandbagging us.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun No single sandbag was going to keep the rushing water behind the levee. San Diego Union-Tribune, 21 Sep. 2021 At least a dozen people crouched behind a sandbag barricade that stood a story tall. Washington Post, 25 Aug. 2021 The day after the robbery, a sandbag cudgel was discovered behind one of the nearby buildings. David Reamer, Anchorage Daily News, 29 Aug. 2021 People bring home sandbags Friday at a sandbag distribution site in New Orleans, where Hurricane Ida was projected to make landfall 16 years after Katrina heavily damaged the city. Wsj Staff, WSJ, 27 Aug. 2021 City workers fill sandbags at a drive-thru sandbag distribution event for residents ahead of the arrival of rains associated with tropical depression Fred on Aug. 13, 2021, at Grapeland Park in Miami. NBC News, 13 Aug. 2021 One song had to be composed on a sandbag, by candlelight, in a disused mortar emplacement. Anthony Lan, The New Yorker, 5 July 2021 The makeshift sandbag tubs at Sykes were dislodged and destroyed. Gregory Thomas, San Francisco Chronicle, 16 Apr. 2021 About 300 people gathered in the unrelenting sun, behind sandbag barricades. New York Times, 4 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb House Speaker Nancy Pelosi responded by creating a committee to look into the attack, but the GOP has sought to sandbag that as well. Kate Aronoff, The New Republic, 4 Aug. 2021 House Speaker Nancy Pelosi responded by creating a committee to look into the attack, but the GOP has sought to sandbag that as well. Kate Aronoff, The New Republic, 4 Aug. 2021 House Speaker Nancy Pelosi responded by creating a committee to look into the attack, but the GOP has sought to sandbag that as well. Kate Aronoff, The New Republic, 4 Aug. 2021 In the 20 years that the United States military was in Afghanistan, more than 775,000 American troops deployed there, to citylike air bases and sandbag outposts on lonely mountaintops. New York Times, 16 Aug. 2021 House Speaker Nancy Pelosi responded by creating a committee to look into the attack, but the GOP has sought to sandbag that as well. Kate Aronoff, The New Republic, 4 Aug. 2021 House Speaker Nancy Pelosi responded by creating a committee to look into the attack, but the GOP has sought to sandbag that as well. Kate Aronoff, The New Republic, 4 Aug. 2021 House Speaker Nancy Pelosi responded by creating a committee to look into the attack, but the GOP has sought to sandbag that as well. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, 22 July 2021 The Falwell’s attempt to sandbag me, and the Examiner, with a last minute story without providing the Examiner clear evidence that this was not simply an ‘affair’ with concocted allegations of extortion reeks desperation. Anthony Leonardi, Washington Examiner, 26 Aug. 2020

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

Noun

1590, in the meaning defined above

Verb

1860, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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Time Traveler for sandbag

Time Traveler

The first known use of sandbag was in 1590

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Dictionary Entries Near sandbag

sand badger

sandbag

sandbank

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Statistics for sandbag

Last Updated

25 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sandbag.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sandbag. Accessed 27 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for sandbag

sandbag

noun

English Language Learners Definition of sandbag

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a bag filled with sand and used as a weight or to build temporary walls, dams, etc.

sandbag

verb

English Language Learners Definition of sandbag (Entry 2 of 2)

: to put sandbags around, on, or in (something)
: to hit (someone) with a sandbag
: to hide your true abilities or purpose in order to deceive people, gain an advantage, etc.

sandbag

noun
sand·​bag | \ ˈsand-ˌbag How to pronounce sandbag (audio) \

Kids Definition of sandbag

: a bag filled with sand and used as a weight (as on a balloon) or as part of a wall or dam

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