- a large bag of strong, coarsely woven material, as for grain, potatoes, or coal.
- the amount a sack holds.
- a bag: a sack of candy.
- Slang. dismissal or discharge, as from a job: to get the sack.
- Slang. bed: I bet he's still in the sack.
- Also sacque.
- a loose-fitting dress, as a gown with a Watteau back, especially one fashionable in the late 17th century and much of the 18th century.
- a loose-fitting coat, jacket, or cape.
- Baseball. a base.
- South Midland U.S. the udder of a cow.
- to put into a sack or sacks.
- Football. to tackle (the quarterback) behind the line of scrimmage before the quarterback is able to throw a pass.
- Slang. to dismiss or discharge, as from a job.
- sack out, Slang. to go to bed; fall asleep.
- hit the sack, Slang. to go to bed; go to sleep: He never hits the sack before midnight.
- leave holding the sack. bag(def 28).
Origin of sack1
Regional variation note
- to pillage or loot after capture; plunder: to sack a city.
- the plundering of a captured place; pillage: the sack of Troy.
Origin of sack2
SynonymsSee more synonyms for sack on Thesaurus.com
- a strong light-colored wine formerly imported from Spain and the Canary Islands.
Origin of sack3
Examples from the Web for sacks
Victims were put into sacks, speared, and thrown into the Congo River.‘Argo’ in the Congo: The Ghosts of the Stanleyville Hostage Crisis
November 23, 2014
At one rally in Mississippi, a large group of them showed up, Jackson remembers, with “sacks on their heads.”The Unsung Heroism of Jesse Jackson
September 7, 2014
Sacks discusses this surreal experience with great humor, but he makes no bones about his misgivings.
On the face of it, Sacks is describing a different person from the thoughtful, often quiet man I met in California.
MARTA: With sacks of money and the anti-Communist tactics of your Senator Jzo-ay McCarthy.Whit Stillman on the 20th Anniversary of ‘Barcelona’, His New Amazon Series, and the Myth of the Ugly Expat
August 10, 2014
Pouches and sacks are also hung in racks to be distributed into.
Seeds, and various kinds of grain, are liable to damage when kept in sacks or bins, from the want of being sufficiently aired.
These consisted of the packing of clothes into trunks, bags, sacks, and hampers.Capt'n Davy's Honeymoon
That sack of Capua is one of the most horrid pages in the horrid history of sacks.The Life of Cesare Borgia
I give them the sacks to keep for a while after I left the store.
- Jonathan (Henry). Baron. born 1948, British rabbi; Commonwealth chief rabbi (1991–2013)
- a large bag made of coarse cloth, thick paper, etc, used as a container
- Also called: sackful the amount contained in a sack, sometimes used as a unit of measurement
- a woman's loose tube-shaped dress
- Also called: sacquea woman's full loose hip-length jacket, worn in the 18th and mid-20th centuries
- short for rucksack
- cricket, Australian a run scored off a ball not struck by the batsman: allotted to the team as an extra and not to the individual batsmanAlso called (in Britain and certain other countries): bye
- the sack informal dismissal from employment
- a slang word for bed
- hit the sack slang to go to bed
- rough as sacks NZ uncouth
- informal to dismiss from employment
- to put into a sack or sacks
- the plundering of a place by an army or mob, usually involving destruction, slaughter, etc
- American football a tackle on a quarterback which brings him down before he has passed the ball
- (tr) to plunder and partially destroy (a place)
- American football to tackle and bring down a quarterback before he has passed the ball
- archaic or trademark any dry white wine formerly imported into Britain from SW Europe
Word Origin and History for sacks
"large bag," Old English sacc (West Saxon), sec (Mercian), sæc (Old Kentish) "large cloth bag," also "sackcloth," from Proto-Germanic *sakkiz (cf. Middle Dutch sak, Old High German sac, Old Norse sekkr, but Gothic sakkus probably is directly from Greek), an early borrowing from Latin saccus (also source of Old French sac, Spanish saco, Italian sacco), from Greek sakkos, from Semitic (cf. Hebrew saq "sack").
The wide spread of the word is probably due to the Biblical story of Joseph, in which a sack of corn figures (Gen. xliv). Baseball slang sense of "a base" is attested from 1913. Slang meaning "bunk, bed" is from 1825, originally nautical. The verb meaning "go to bed" is recorded from 1946. Sack race attested from 1805.
"a dismissal from work," 1825, from sack (n.1), perhaps from the notion of the worker going off with his tools in a bag; the original formula was to give (someone) the sack. It is attested earlier in French (on luy a donné son sac, 17c.) and Dutch (iemand de zak geven).
"sherry," 1530s, alteration of French vin sec "dry wine," from Latin siccus "dry" (see siccative).
"to plunder," 1540s, from Middle French sac, in the phrase mettre à sac "put it in a bag," a military leader's command to his troops to plunder a city (parallel to Italian sacco, with the same range of meaning), from Vulgar Latin *saccare "to plunder," originally "to put plundered things into a sack," from Latin saccus "bag" (see sack (n.1)). The notion is probably of putting booty in a bag.
"plunder; act of plundering, the plundering of a city or town after storming and capture," 1540s, from French sac "pillage, plunder," from Italian sacco (see sack (v.1)).
"put in a bag," late 14c., from sack (n.1). Related: Sacked; sacking.
"dismiss from work," 1841, from sack (n.2). Related: Sacked; sacking.
Idioms and Phrases with sacks
In addition to the idiom beginning with sack
- sack out
- get the ax (sack)
- hit the hay (sack)
- sad sack