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 Some attended to health issues, such as foot inspections and pouring hot candle wax over themselves to kill lice, while some did trench maintenance, such as filling sandbags. Olivia B. Waxman, Time, "The Real World War I History Behind the Movie 1917," 23 Dec. 2019 Bodies were pushed to the limit with intense workouts that included jumping rope, rowing machines, lifting weights, throwing balls and exercising with sandbags. Mary Colurso | Mcolurso@al.com, al, "Alabama’s Micah Collum makes top 6 on ‘The Biggest Loser’," 5 Mar. 2020 Two teams hit the water in big inflatable rafts, paddling to reach 120-pound sandbags attached to buoys. Mary Colurso | Mcolurso@al.com, al, "Alabama’s Micah Collum on ‘The Biggest Loser’: 37 pounds lighter and counting," 19 Feb. 2020 To create overhead lighting, attach one of the softboxes to the boom arm and keep it in place with the sandbag. Popular Science, "Photography lighting kits for beginners," 11 Feb. 2020 But their waves would wash over the sandbags and the water was lapping up against their homes. Kathleen Gray, Detroit Free Press, "Boats could be forced to slow down near Michigan cities hit with high water levels," 28 Jan. 2020 The doors of the famed St. Mark’s Basilica were securely shut to the public, while officials took precautions — stacking sandbags in canal-side windows — to prevent water from entering the crypt again. Fox News, "Venice flooding closes St. Mark's Square as city faces another 'tough day' of exceptional high tides," 18 Nov. 2019 The doors of the famed St. Mark’s Basilica were securely shut to the public, an authorities took precautions — stacking sandbags in canal-side windows — to prevent salt-laden water from entering the crypt again. Anchorage Daily News, "Time for hip waders: Venice sees record 3rd exceptional tide," 17 Nov. 2019 The doors of the famed St. Mark’s Basilica were securely shut to the public, an authorities took precautions — stacking sandbags in canal-side windows — to prevent salt-laden water from entering the crypt again. Colleen Barry And Luca Bruno, chicagotribune.com, "Third record tide enters Venice as Italy hit with snow and rain," 17 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Sewer main lines were completely filled, and crews sandbagged manholes in the area to avoid further surface water infiltration, city officials said. USA TODAY, "More pigeon hats, cushion cash, Chaka Khan: News from around our 50 states," 20 Jan. 2020 The council was angry with Fischer and accused him of sandbagging them earlier on pension issues. Joseph Gerth, The Courier-Journal, "From the Kentucky Derby to the governor's race, here are the top 9 moments from 2019," 19 Dec. 2019 In Pisa, workers sandbagged the road along the rising Arno River, which was also surging through the heart of Florence, reaching a level near the Uffizi Galleries that was described as the highest in some 20 years. Colleen Barry And Luca Bruno, USA TODAY, "Venice hit with a historic third major flood in less than a week," 18 Nov. 2019 Far worse, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs George Kent and Acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor repeatedly sandbagged Democrats’ rationale for booting President Donald J. Trump offstage. Deroy Murdock, National Review, "Schiff’s Impeachment Show Is Off to a Shaky Start," 15 Nov. 2019 In Pisa, famed for its Leaning Tower, workers sandbagged the road along the rising Arno River, which authorities said had reached the highest level there and in another Tuscan city, Florence, since 1992. Colleen Barry And Luca Bruno, SFChronicle.com, "Record flooding again swamps soaked Venice," 17 Nov. 2019 The south-central North Dakota city began sandbagging after releases from the Pipestem Dam and Jamestown Reservoir were increased. USA TODAY, "Sesame Street joins SeaWorld, sunken WW II ship found, presidential yacht: News from around our 50 states," 22 Oct. 2019 Ben Cherington was sandbagged in the middle of the 2015 season, less than two years after winning a World Series. Dan Shaughnessy, BostonGlobe.com, "Dave Dombrowski discovers having the biggest payroll always comes with a price," 9 Sep. 2019 His home two doors away was boarded and sandbagged. Kevin Spear, orlandosentinel.com, "Hurricane Dorian’s thunderous surf is awesome, fearsome relief to tedium in Brevard County," 3 Sep. 2019

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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Statistics for sandbag

Last Updated

26 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sandbag.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sandbag. Accessed 28 Mar. 2020.

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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
How to pronounce sandbag (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sandbag

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sandbag

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