sack 1 of 3


2 of 3

verb (1)


3 of 3

verb (2)

as in to plunder
to search through with the intent of committing robbery thieves sacked the house in search of the diamond necklace

Synonyms & Similar Words

Synonym Chooser

How does the verb sack contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of sack are despoil, devastate, pillage, ravage, and waste. While all these words mean "to lay waste by plundering or destroying," sack implies carrying off all valuable possessions from a place.

barbarians sacked ancient Rome

Where would despoil be a reasonable alternative to sack?

The synonyms despoil and sack are sometimes interchangeable, but despoil applies to looting or robbing without suggesting accompanying destruction.

the Nazis despoiled the art museums

When could devastate be used to replace sack?

The words devastate and sack can be used in similar contexts, but devastate implies the complete ruin and desolation of a wide area.

an earthquake devastated the city

How are the words pillage and sack related?

Pillage implies ruthless plundering at will but without the completeness suggested by sack.

settlements pillaged by Vikings

When can ravage be used instead of sack?

While the synonyms ravage and sack are close in meaning, ravage implies violent often cumulative depredation and destruction.

a hurricane ravaged the coast

When might waste be a better fit than sack?

While in some cases nearly identical to sack, waste may imply producing the same result by a slow process rather than sudden and violent action.

years of drought had wasted the area

Thesaurus Entries Near sack

Cite this Entry

“Sack.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on sack

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!