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

Did You Know?

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

Jefferson Chalmers flooding could persist for several more weeks as lake levels rise and Detroit works to protect the neighborhood with a new round of sandbags. Emma Keith, Detroit Free Press, "Flooding in Detroit's Jefferson Chalmers neighborhood could last for weeks," 11 July 2019 Some of the underground passageways have been verified by archaeologists and sealed with sandbags to keep out any amateur explorers, out of safety concerns. Colin Campbell, baltimoresun.com, "'Secret' tunnels are hidden under Baltimore's Federal Hill. Where did they come from and what lies inside?," 26 June 2019 While thousands of low-income people were left without power and healthcare for days, the Goldman Sachs HQ on Manhattan was kept safe by tens of thousands of sandbags and powered by a private generator. Ivana Kottasová, CNN, "'Climate apartheid' to push 120 million into poverty by 2030, UN says," 25 June 2019 The town itself is dry, thanks to a levee reinforced with sandbags. Washington Post, "Central US flooding hits recreation, tourism industries," 7 June 2019 Arnold Williams fears the possible loss of his home and works to place sandbags and secure tarps to support the eroding riverbank. Anchorage Daily News, "A few Akiak residents consider staying in homes threatened by erosion," 26 June 2019 When historic Oklahoma flooding ravaged portions of the state last month, Bixby High School put out a call on social media asking for volunteers to create a sandbag barrier around campus before the storms hit. Kyle Fredrickson, The Denver Post, "“His heart is beyond big.” Broncos’ Chris Harris gives back to hometown with annual camp.," 23 June 2019 Locals rushed in sandbags, but that bought only a few days’ respite. Peter Schwartzstein, National Geographic, "This vanishing forest protects the coasts—and lives—of two countries," 17 June 2019 Not to be missed is a room lined with unique stoneware cups handmade by Ehren Tool and decorated with bullet holes, skulls, American eagles, sandbags and chilling slogans. Lori Waxman, chicagotribune.com, "Inaugural National Veterans Art Museum Triennial offers veterans a welcoming home," 5 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

At the edge of the town of Jean Lafitte just outside New Orleans, volunteers helped several town employees sandbag a 600-foot stretch of the two-lane state highway. Sarah Blake Morgan And Janet Mcconnaughey, orlandosentinel.com, "Tropical Storm Barry weakens upon landfall in Louisiana, dumps rain across Gulf Coast," 13 July 2019 At the edge of the town of Jean Lafitte just outside New Orleans, volunteers helped several town employees sandbag a 600-foot stretch of the two-lane state highway through town. Author: Kevin Mcgill, Janet Mcconnaughey, Anchorage Daily News, "Barry crawls ashore in Louisiana, weakens to tropical storm," 13 July 2019 Gerhardsson sandbagged the group stage game against the US, losing, 2-0, and the Swedes would have stood little chance against the Americans in the final. Frank Dell’apa, BostonGlobe.com, "US women can neutralize speed and skill of Netherlands in the final," 3 July 2019 But truth be told, the U.S. might be better off sandbagging it against Sweden. Nancy Armour, USA TODAY, "Opinion: U.S. women called a lot of things at World Cup, but slackers won't be one of them," 17 June 2019 So while the city isn’t taking any chances, the first day of sandbagging Tuesday was more of a soft opening, in part because Fargo has made numerous changes to reduce its vulnerability and has time on its side. Dave Kolpack, The Seattle Times, "As flood looms, North Dakota’s largest city back to bagging," 29 Mar. 2019 This family here has sandbagged their house and move the valuable stuff up to higher floors. Fox News, "Kavanaugh to speak to Senate Judiciary Committee staffers," 18 Sep. 2018 Marines from Camp Lejeune, N.C., worked with the Amish community to sandbag around the tiny town of Elnora in Daviess County. Dawn Mitchell, Indianapolis Star, "Looking back at the 2008 floods in Indiana," 7 June 2018 On the other side of the DMZ, dispatches from South Korea indicate that Trump sandbagged Seoul by providing no notice of his decision, which further diminishes the status of the United States as a reliable partner within the global community. Jay Willis, GQ, "Donald Trump Cancels North Korea Summit, Placing His Nobel Peace Prize in Serious Jeopardy," 24 May 2018

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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Statistics for sandbag

Last Updated

17 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sandbag

The first known use of sandbag was in 1590

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More Definitions for sandbag

sandbag

verb

Financial Definition of sandbag

What It Is

Sandbag is slang for lowering expectations.

How It Works

Let's say John Doe is a new employee at Company XYZ. He gets invited to the annual company golf outing. The other employees ask him how his game is. John says, "I'm ok." John, however, has actually had golf lessons since he was a child and plays every weekend. John is sandbagging.

Why It Matters

In the world of finance, the mantra is "underpromise and overdeliver," meaning that when you keep investors' expectations low, it's easier to make them happy. In turn, sandbagging can help elevate or at least maintain a stock price when companies report earnings. Companies sandbag by providing earnings guidance to analysts that is below what they actually think will occur.

Sandbagging isn't easy to maintain, however. Once analysts notice that companies consistently outdo their earnings guidance, they will start raising their expectations regardless of what the company guidance is.

Source: Investing Answers

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)
chiefly US, informal : to hit (someone) with a sandbag
US, informal : 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

More from Merriam-Webster on sandbag

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sandbag

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sandbag

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