Definition of knapsack in English:



  • A soldier's or hiker's bag with shoulder straps, carried on the back, and typically made of canvas or other weatherproof material.

    • ‘I stopped to readjust my knapsack, then hoisted the hockey bag again.’
    • ‘The soldiers, dressed in bright green fatigues with knapsacks on their backs, filed through Jean Lesage Airport to meet loved ones who cheered and clapped.’
    • ‘He asked to see my ticket, and I crouched down to reach into the top compartment of my knapsack to retrieve it.’
    • ‘The thefts have occurred primarily at the DP library, where unattended knapsacks left inside study booths present an attractive opportunity for thieves.’
    • ‘The second girl reluctantly produced a pack of cigarettes from her knapsack and offered one to the man.’
    rucksack, backpack, haversack, pack, kitbag, duffel bag, satchel, shoulder bag, holdall
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Early 17th century: from Middle Low German, from Dutch knapzack, probably from German knappen ‘to bite’ + zak ‘sack’.