See more synonyms for sandbag on
verb (used with object), sand·bagged, sand·bag·ging.
  1. to furnish with sandbags.
  2. to hit or stun with a sandbag.
  3. Informal.
    1. to set upon violently; attack from or as if from ambush.
    2. to coerce or intimidate, as by threats: The election committee was sandbagged into nominating the officers for a second term.
    3. to thwart or cause to fail or be rejected, especially surreptitiously or without warning: He sandbagged our proposal with his snide remarks to the boss.
    1. deceive (one or more opponents) into remaining in the pot by refraining from betting on a strong hand, then raising the bet in a later round.
    2. gain an advantage over (one or more competitors) by concealing one's abilities or other strengths early in a game or other competitive activity.
    3. gain an advantage by concealing or downplaying the strengths of (something): companies that sandbag their earnings estimates and then easily beat them to make everyone happy.
verb (used without object), sand·bagged, sand·bag·ging.
    1. sandbag one or more opponents.
    2. sandbag an opponent or competitor: guys that sandbag and fall back a little in the first race to get a better starting spot in the second.

Origin of sandbag

First recorded in 1580–90; sand + bag
Related formssand·bag·ger, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sandbag

Contemporary Examples of sandbag

Historical Examples of sandbag

British Dictionary definitions for sandbag


  1. a sack filled with sand used for protection against gunfire, floodwater, etc, or as ballast in a balloon, ship, etc
  2. a bag filled with sand and used as a weapon
verb -bags, -bagging or -bagged (tr)
  1. to protect or strengthen with sandbags
  2. to hit with or as if with a sandbag
  3. finance to obstruct (an unwelcome takeover bid) by prolonging talks in the hope that an acceptable bidder will come forward
Derived Formssandbagger, noun
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 sandbag

1580s, from sand (n.) + bag (n.).


1860, "furnish with sandbags," from sandbag (n.). Meaning "pretend weakness," 1970s perhaps is extended from poker-playing sense of "refrain from raising at the first opportunity in hopes of raising more steeply later" (1940), which perhaps is from sandbagger in the sense of "bully or ruffian who uses a sandbag as a weapon to knock his intended victim unconscious" (1882). Hence "to fell or stun with a blow from a sandbag" (1887). Related: Sandbagged; sandbagging.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper