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[guhn-ee] /ˈgʌn i/
noun, plural gunnies.
a strong, coarse material made commonly from jute, especially for bags or sacks; burlap.
Origin of gunny
1705-15; < Hindi gonī < Sanskrit: sack, perhaps orig. of hide; cf. gaur Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for gunny
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He hadn't any overcoat on and his feet and legs were tied up in gunny sacks.

    Peak and Prairie Anna Fuller
  • Beside him was a gunny sack, tied in the middle and filled at both ends.

    Brand Blotters William MacLeod Raine
  • In his left hand was a gunny sack, in his right a formidable six-shooter.

    Desert Conquest

    A. M. Chisholm
  • This was the overflow from a gunny sack in which he carried the rest.

    Desert Conquest

    A. M. Chisholm
  • The gunny sack about the throat was marked by the blood stains only.

    The Barrel Mystery

    William J. (William James) Flynn
  • The principal exports must be gunny bags, verdigris, and iron rust.

    Excursions and Poems

    Henry David Thoreau
  • Then blankets and gunny sacks were wet and beaten against the flames.

    Cattle-Ranch to College Russell Doubleday
  • On the litter were bundles, some in gunny sacks, and some tied in blankets.

    The Voodoo Gold Trail Walter Walden
  • He carried but one small blanket of about the texture of a gunny sack.

British Dictionary definitions for gunny


noun (mainly US) (pl) -nies
a coarse hard-wearing fabric usually made from jute and used for sacks, etc
Also called gunny sack. a sack made from this fabric
Word Origin
C18: from Hindi gōnī, from Sanskrit gonī sack, probably of Dravidian origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for gunny

1711, Anglo-Indian goney "coarse fabric," from Hindi goni, from Sanskrit goni "sack." Gunny sack attested by 1862.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for gunny



  1. A gunnery sergeant: Whenever you try to explain something, the gunny accuses you of trying to skate (1940s+ Marine Corps)
  2. An armed criminal: Tell us the rest about the two gunnies
  3. A proponent of gun possession: How did gunnies cling so ferociously to beliefs that were completely at odds with majority opinion?/ Or, as gunnies on the Internet chat group rec.guns put it (1950s+)
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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