sandbag

noun
sand·​bag | \ ˈsan(d)-ˌbag \

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

Police photographs obtained by the AP showed the officers in hard hats and light green raincoats talking with the villagers outside of what appears to be the concrete chapel and nearby bunkhouse, with piles of sandbags nearby. Aaron Favila And Joeal Calupitan, Fox News, "Philippine policeman: Villagers refused advice to flee storm," 18 Sep. 2018 Police photographs obtained by the AP showed the officers in hard hats and light green raincoats talking with the villagers outside of what appears to be the concrete chapel and nearby bunkhouse, with piles of sandbags nearby. Aaron Favila, The Seattle Times, "Philippine policeman: Villagers refused advice to flee storm," 18 Sep. 2018 The grenade blast generated a cloud of smoke, which crept up vertical vent shaft that emerged from the tunnel from behind the sandbag barricade. Michael M. Phillips, WSJ, "‘I Think I’ve Been Shot’: Nighttime Raid in Afghanistan Reveals New U.S. Strategy," 5 Dec. 2018 On a hilltop base shielded with sandbags, police sharpshooter Jose Diaz gazed into thick jungle as a fellow commando checked tripwires protecting the stronghold. Juan Forero, WSJ, "Where Colombian Rebels Once Ruled, Drug Gangs Now Fight for Control," 16 July 2018 Army personnel worked to clear roads by removing trees, mud and other debris, while other troops set up sandbag barriers against flooding. Anthony Harrup, WSJ, "Mexico Deals With Storm Damage as Willa Weakens," 24 Oct. 2018 The hotel restaurant planned to stay open Tuesday evening as usual, fortified by sandbags to keep out torrential rains, the manager said. Kevin Mcgill, The Seattle Times, "Gordon slams Gulf Coast with tropical-force winds, rain," 4 Sep. 2018 Police say the boys, each of whom were 13 or 14, threw rocks and sandbags onto Interstate 75 near downtown Toledo in December. Robert Gearty, Fox News, "'Madness': Family outraged that 4 teens sentenced to youth treatment after sandbag hits car, kills man," 2 Oct. 2018 Sand and sandbags were available in the St. Mary of the Nativity Parish parking lot Thursday morning, emergency officials said. Emily Sweeney, BostonGlobe.com, "Coastal communities brace for storm, prepare for flooding," 1 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 To protect 3,500 tulips, workers tarped and sandbagged the riverside flower bed. Jennie Key, Cincinnati.com, "Tulips rescued in Smale Park were worth the effort," 1 May 2018 Her teammates were emotionally sandbagged at the final buzzer, and forward Sam Fuehring described being unable to hold back a torrent of empathy. Danielle Lerner, The Courier-Journal, "Myisha Hines-Allen ends memorable Louisville career with bittersweet Final Four epilogue," 31 Mar. 2018 On several occasions, Jenckes, like other farmers, was sandbagging along the levee of the swollen Wabash River. Dawn Mitchell, Indianapolis Star, "Virginia Jenckes: From farm girl to congresswoman," 23 Mar. 2018 Especially hard hit were share prices of U.S. auto makers, sandbagged by Mr. Trump after his efforts to lure them to shift production back to the U.S. Nor do his tweets fill anyone with confidence. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, "Reagan Protectionism vs. Trump Protectionism," 2 Mar. 2018 Remaining border disputes should be consigned to binding arbitration, not allowed to sandbag progress in open-ended skirmishing. Thomas W. Hazlett, WSJ, "How Politics Stalls Wireless Innovation," 1 Oct. 2017

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

16 Jan 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)

: 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 \

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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