Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[nap-sak] /ˈnæpˌsæk/
a canvas, nylon, or leather bag for clothes, food, and other supplies, carried on the back by soldiers, hikers, etc.
Origin of knapsack
1595-1605; < Low German knappsack, equivalent to knapp a bite (of food) + sack sack1; compare dialectal English knap to snap up, eat greedily
Related forms
knapsacked, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for knapsack
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Wrayson looked at the knapsack, at the camera, and at the little man himself.

    The Avenger E. Phillips Oppenheim
  • Each of the Russians closed a switch on the knapsack which he wore.

    Poisoned Air Sterner St. Paul Meek
  • Help me to stock my knapsack, and I 'll find my road myself.'

  • Not that the staff and the knapsack are the passports to only such as these.

    Arthur O'Leary Charles James Lever
  • I strapped on my knapsack at once, and stepped into the little boat.

    Arthur O'Leary Charles James Lever
  • I grasped my knapsack and my wrapper, and stole furtively away.

    A Day's Ride Charles James Lever
  • I slung my knapsack across my shoulder and started for home.

  • They fitted me with my knapsack, just such a thing as Dalton's.

    The Daltons, Volume I (of II) Charles James Lever
  • Not much, only I would like to have you overhaul my knapsack for me.

    Winning His Way

    Charles Carleton Coffin
British Dictionary definitions for knapsack


a canvas or leather bag carried strapped on the back or shoulder
Word Origin
C17: from Low German knappsack, probably from knappen to bite, snap + sack bag; related to Dutch knapzak; see sack1
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for knapsack

c.1600, from Low German Knapsack (Dutch knapzak), probably from knappen "to eat" literally "to crack, snap" + Sack "bag" (see sack (n.1)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for knapsack

Word Value for knapsack

Scrabble Words With Friends