- 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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for knapsack
When he arrived, carrying nothing but a knapsack, he retrieved his Lampoon credit card from his wallet and broke it in two.Doug Kenney: The Odd Comic Genius Behind ‘Animal House’ and National Lampoon
Robert Sam Anson
March 1, 2014
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.'The Martins Of Cro' Martin, Vol. II (of II)
Charles James Lever
Not that the staff and the knapsack are the passports to only such as these.
I strapped on my knapsack at once, and stepped into the little boat.
- a canvas or leather bag carried strapped on the back or shoulder
C17: from Low German knappsack, probably from knappen to bite, snap + sack bag; related to Dutch knapzak; see sack 1
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
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