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[hav-er-sak] /ˈhæv ərˌsæk/
a single-strapped bag worn over one shoulder and used for carrying supplies.
a soldier's bag for rations, extra clothing, etc.
Origin of haversack
1740-50; earlier havresack < French havresac < German Habersack, equivalent to Haber oats (compare dialectal English haver < Old Norse hafrar oats) + Sack sack1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for haversack
Historical Examples
  • I know George has a snack stowed away in his haversack right now.

    Great Hike Alan Douglas
  • A haversack was on his back, hanging from lanyards that creased a smart coat.

    The Rich Little Poor Boy Eleanor Gates
  • Davy was thrusting several more rolls of films in his haversack.

  • The infantryman carried a rifle, belt, haversack and canteen.

    A Soldier in the Philippines Needom N. Freeman
  • When I got back to the company I shared out the contents of my haversack, and when we marched that night it was empty.

  • Drew tossed his haversack back to the platform and added his carbine to it.

    Ride Proud, Rebel! Andre Alice Norton
  • In a moment there was a man at every hill, digging away with his bayonet, and chucking the tempting tubers into his haversack.

  • I have also a large gourd canteen and haversack for my rations.

    The Scalp Hunters Mayne Reid
  • A solid shot cut Corporal Goddard's haversack from his saddle without injuring the corporal or his horse.

    A Boy Trooper With Sheridan Stanton P. Allen
  • The knapsack was heavy, the haversack was heavy, the musket was heavy.

    The Long Roll Mary Johnston
British Dictionary definitions for haversack


a canvas bag for provisions or equipment, carried on the back or shoulder
Word Origin
C18: from French havresac, from German Habersack oat bag, from Old High German habaro oats + Sacksack1
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 haversack

1749, from French havresac (1670s), from Low German hafersach "cavalry trooper's bag for horse provender," literally "oat sack," from the common Germanic word for "oat" (see haver (n.1)) + sack (n.1)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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