Main definitions of sack in English

: sack1sack2sack3

sack1

noun

  • 1A large bag made of a strong material such as burlap, thick paper, or plastic, used for storing and carrying goods.

    • ‘Women folded their worn-out linens and few spare clothes, packing them into cloth sacks to be carried.’
    • ‘In one storeroom, one-tonne sacks of rice were stored on an uneven surface and the property was filled with dangerous electrical wiring.’
    • ‘Mr Brown said clear instructions had been issued with each black recycling box saying what it was to be used for and what should be put into the paper sacks delivered with the box.’
    • ‘Children as young as five keep a fiercely protective grip on their younger siblings while loading one, sometimes two, plastic sacks onto their backs.’
    • ‘Then I start clearing out closets, bookshelves, drawers, putting things in plastic sacks to take to the charity shop.’
    • ‘Between them they had done the same with Carl's gear which had been bagged up in black plastic refuse sacks.’
    • ‘All potatoes prefer the dark; therefore, storage in a cool place, in a burlap sack or paper bag, is best.’
    • ‘Large, sealable plastic containers are good for storing sacks of fertilizer or lawn herbicide.’
    • ‘I went tobogganing with my sister and her friend, using those big industrial plastic sacks as sledges.’
    • ‘Here he was, improvising a remedy with fencing wire, here he was bent double under bulging hessian sacks.’
    • ‘Garden rubbish is also collected in hessian sacks for a small charge.’
    • ‘They have no timber, only tents made from women's skirts and scarves, sacks, plastic bags and prayer mats.’
    • ‘In the past they rarely consigned their refuse to plastic bags, leaving it out in an odd assortment of paper sacks and cardboard boxes.’
    • ‘Each one, after scrutiny, found something of value to add to his sack: paper, plastic bags, bits of cardboard.’
    • ‘They will have to put their rubbish in plastic sacks for the next six to eight weeks while the Council waits for supplies because of the high demand from local authorities across Britain.’
    • ‘I'd ordered 100 recycled black plastic rubbish sacks, and we'd just used the last one.’
    • ‘The changes will mean residents placing their rubbish in a suitable container or into strong plastic sacks.’
    • ‘His current wardrobe is contained in a large paper sack and a duffel bag, both of which lie on the floor in his hotel room.’
    • ‘We had our bikes, our waterproofs and our special thick plastic newspaper sacks to keep the newsprint nice and dry.’
    • ‘There are no uniforms and the children do not carry huge sacks full of books on their backs.’
    bag, pack, pouch, pocket
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 The contents of a sack or the amount it can contain.
      ‘a sack of flour’
      • ‘As it was, carrying the very light sacks of shredded paper to the crusher was well within my capabilities, and the light exercise did me no harm at all.’
      • ‘The American would have to spend time calming shareholder groups, and the best way to do so would be to back the manager with a sack of new cash.’
      • ‘I suppose it's hard to score with chicks when you roll up to them on a 10-speed rocking a sack of Ikea catalogues.’
      • ‘Presumably we won't be able to use both bins for non-green waste, so it will be back to black plastic sacks being put out fortnightly with the bin.’
      • ‘The story goes that when Parton was born, her parents were so poor they gave the doctor a sack of corn for delivering her.’
      • ‘David Wickers opens up a sack of exotic adventures.’
      • ‘According to an ancient tale, there was once a Muslim shepherd named Buta Malik who was given a sack of coal by a sadhu.’
      • ‘You will soon be carrying sacks of hate mail to my flat; I know from previous experience that one criticises Tolkien at one's peril.’
      • ‘The problems: €500,000 is quite a sack of money for a property that promises more than it delivers.’
      • ‘Each day of the players' holiday week, Maloney threw on his training gear, picked up a sack of footballs and made his way up to Barrowfield.’
      • ‘I feel like a sack of cement, and somehow I have to write a column.’
      • ‘Today, a people that prided itself on rugged self-sufficiency during the war depend on the steady flow of trucks carrying sacks of grain donated by the World Food Programme.’
      • ‘Four ‘gangsters’ armed with hammers smashed a postal van and stole a sack of expensive deliveries.’
      • ‘How fast could I get there carrying a plastic grocery sack of food in one hand, a dog on a leash with the other, and piggybacking a four-year-old boy?’
      • ‘Estimates of his own financial losses varied, but the three-crew vessel often carried just a few sacks of coal to remote locations on a daily basis.’
      • ‘The bones inside their legs felt like a sack of broken glass.’
      • ‘We took a sack of rice, vegetables and biscuits.’
      • ‘Two men carried sacks of chicken feed down a steep dirt track where the land dropped off just past the road.’
      • ‘Unable to control his bike, he landed on the tarmac like a sack of spuds.’
      • ‘The harvest is often large enough to feed the entire village, and a family is entitled to a weekly ration of a sack of rice until the next harvest.’
  • 2A loose, unfitted, or shapeless garment, in particular.

    • ‘The plain green dress was a good few sizes too big for her and hung off her petite frame like a big shapeless sack.’
    • ‘It's like she gorged herself on popcorn and Junior Mints during the screening and decided she needed to hide the bloat with an untailored cotton sack.’
    • ‘One cannot deny that it certainly does solve the ‘what to wear’ dilemma if one only has one sack in one color - black - simple.’
    1. 2.1historical A woman's loose gown.
    2. 2.2historical A decorative piece of dress material fastened to the shoulders of a woman's gown in loose pleats and forming a long train, fashionable in the 18th century.
  • 3the sackNorth American informal Bed, especially as regarded as a place for sex.

    • ‘While I - a sixteen-year-old girl - got to watch my dad die, my mother was jumping in the sack with someone else?’
    • ‘The beauty of talking dirty in the sack is that you communicate it's not only your body which is aroused but your senses and mind as well.’
    • ‘I will be perfectly honest with you: He's gorgeous and great in the sack.’
    • ‘The bartender had a nice rack and gave me the distinct impression that she might have some awesome skills in the sack.’
    • ‘Not very bright, not very pretty, and probably not very good in the sack, but she had undeniable charisma.’
    • ‘Oh, and I bet you I am SO much better in the sack than her.’
    • ‘Even men who couldn't care less about physical appearance all worry about their performance in the sack.’
    • ‘Is there something wrong with me, if I don't want to hop in the sack?’
    • ‘Forgive me, but a romp in the sack does not equal love.’
    • ‘But for all his success in the sack, he insists that what he's really looking for is a woman he can take home for keeps.’
    • ‘Virgil wasn't too rowdy in the sack, but he had potential.’
    • ‘I was doing him a favor, really, if you think about it - him and any girl unfortunate enough to end up in the sack with him in the future.’
    • ‘She's gorgeous and great in the sack, but mostly I fantasize about the girl in the next cube, my neighbor, even my ex from high school.’
    • ‘It wasn't like she was trying to get us all in the sack.’
    • ‘They pick you based on looks and how quickly you'll hop in the sack with them.’
    • ‘That doesn't mean you sit around for two years staring at each other's watches waiting for the chance to hop in the sack.’
    • ‘He came on to me, and before I knew what was happening, we were in the sack.’
    • ‘You're just trying to get soft-hearted Romeo here in the sack.’
    • ‘Sure, he was hot in the sack when the two of you were together, but is it possible that the sex was spectacular then because you were emotionally invested?’
    • ‘As for your particular situation, what kind of idiot lowlife would tell another man that his wife was great in the sack?’
  • 4the sackinformal Dismissal from employment.

    ‘he got the sack for swearing’
    ‘they were given the sack’
    • ‘Managers either got good jobs from Blackburn or they got the sack, there was no in between.’
    • ‘He got the sack for trying to teach what wasn't on the syllabus and for wearing strange diving equipment instead of being a PADI role model.’
    • ‘He finally got the sack from Dublin Bus when he made one detour too many and was arrested in a Garda surveillance operation on the home of his supplier.’
    • ‘‘I started off cleaning toilets when I was 17 and I got the sack from that,’ he explains.’
    • ‘When the commander of the military base at which he's toiling got wind of this, the elder Banner got the sack.’
    • ‘A Canadian who got the sack for showing up to work drunk and toting a sawed-off shotgun wants his job back.’
    • ‘Naturally, Miranda rebelled and eventually got the sack for not getting behind the leader.’
    • ‘Email and Net abuse at work have become the number one reason why UK employees face the sack, according to a survey out today.’
    • ‘Tenants, trade unionists and MPs took part in a lobby of Tower Hamlets council, east London this week in support of a council press officer who faces the sack.’
    • ‘The majority of workers have now received the early retirement package and wage arrears with the exception of eight who were, instead, given the sack.’
    • ‘I got the sack from Woolworth's for fighting with the under-manager in the stock room, and then went back to the youth employment officer.’
    • ‘Rowena Henson was soon given the sack over another matter.’
    • ‘The sheer volume of players who have left since Molyneaux got the sack has made Patterson's first month in the hot seat a difficult one.’
    • ‘by the end of which Courtnay had been given the sack from the confectioner's and Doreen had severed their engagement.’
    • ‘In the end it was a relief when I got the sack, because I was banging my head against a brick wall every day.’
    • ‘They just let things happen and then get a PR man to announce somebody's got the sack.’
    • ‘I got a promotion at work, which was all I'd ever wanted, but since I could never stay later than 5.30, I got the sack.’
    • ‘Mary Deanne Shears, terrorizing managing editrix of the Star, is widely considered toast now that publisher Lurch Honderich has got the sack.’
    • ‘As a young man, he got the sack from De La Rue, the banknote manufacturer, after complaining that he didn't have enough to do.’
    • ‘He got the sack for some accusations about what he might have done at the Waipareira Trust.’
    dismissal, discharge, redundancy, termination of employment, one's marching orders
    View synonyms
  • 5Baseball
    informal A base.

    • ‘Should I be guarding closer to the third sack and the foul line?’
    • ‘If they finish the year first in pilfered sacks, it would be the first time since 1938 that the Bronx Bombers led in this category.’
    • ‘Say, for instance, the underhand toss the hurler sent toward the behind (aka catcher) went to the spot you'd indicated and you walloped a shot to the second sack man.’
    • ‘He started out as a pitcher as many ballplayers do but quickly was moved over to the first sack.’
  • 6American Football
    An act of tackling a quarterback behind the line of scrimmage before he can throw a pass.

    • ‘In 2002, when the defense was the strength of the team, the line made 9.5 sacks.’
    • ‘The defensive line is a strength, but the team would like more quarterback sacks from the left side.’
    • ‘Michael Bankston, who led the team in sacks and the line in tackles, will rotate with Booker and be the top sub at all four line positions.’
    • ‘Last year, it gave up 43 sacks, subjecting quarterbacks Patrick Ramsey and Tim Hasselbeck to a horrid battering.’
    • ‘Safety Eric Brown and linebacker Shantee Orr converged on the Jaguar quarterback for a sack to force fourth down in the first quarter.’
    • ‘The Colts' offensive line has surrendered 14 sacks in the preseason.’
    • ‘Posey was a menace all night, recording two sacks and three quarterback hurries.’
    • ‘Instead, it was the Bucs that took control, led by Rice, who had five tackles and two sacks in the first half.’
    • ‘Jamie Sharper led a solid defensive effort with seven tackles, a sack, and a forced fumble.’
    • ‘Last season, he led all NFL defensive linemen with 86 tackles and had 10 sacks.’
    • ‘He had a solid season with the Jets, recording a career-best six sacks and 58 tackles.’
    • ‘It's been three years since Jason Taylor last dropped a zero: zero sacks, zero solo tackles and zero assists.’
    • ‘With three sacks and 10 tackles for loss, Doss can disrupt the opponent's backfield.’
    • ‘Even though Orr wasn't officially credited with a sack or a tackle, he gets one in my book.’
    • ‘In 1982, the NFL finally cried uncle and recognized the quarterback sack as an individual statistic.’
    • ‘He has great burst and quickness, and he punishes quarterbacks with his sacks.’
    • ‘Hall, who had four quarterback sacks in the first preseason game, will play several roles.’
    • ‘White, a seventh round pick, finished with 5 tackles, 4 sacks and two forced fumbles.’
    • ‘Last year, Babin recorded 15 sacks and 33 tackles behind the line of scrimmage.’
    • ‘Joseph has racked up 16 sacks and 34 quarterback hurries since moving to tackle.’

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1informal Dismiss from employment.

    ‘any official found to be involved would be sacked on the spot’
    • ‘To deny a person employment or to sack them on such grounds is an abuse of natural justice and due process because they have already received the legally appropriate penalty.’
    • ‘Geetha, another sacked female employee, also attempted suicide after she was dismissed.’
    • ‘But his employers sacked him, saying he was guilty of gross misconduct.’
    • ‘What can now be said is that the youth workers' employer has sacked the woman involved after an investigation into her conduct.’
    • ‘Under the proposed new legislation it would be easier for employers to lay off and sack certain categories of workers.’
    • ‘Now an employment tribunal has awarded her an undisclosed four-figure compensation payment and ruled that her employers acted illegally in sacking her.’
    • ‘Last June, DBC's plant closed down, work halted on the second phase of the development and all the employees were sacked.’
    • ‘But just months later his employers sacked him after he took time off sick due to anxiety and stress.’
    • ‘Two employees have been sacked and 120 others face dismissal for joining earlier protests.’
    • ‘Three Dell employees have been sacked by the company in the past seven months for taking drugs at work.’
    • ‘I am writing to express my great disappointment to learn that one of your employees has been sacked.’
    • ‘His wife leaves him, and his employers sack him.’
    • ‘If he had done this while still in his job his employers would have sacked him.’
    • ‘The Prime Minister has come out in support of Dr Hollingworth's decision not to sack someone from their employment despite enormous impropriety.’
    • ‘The catering group warned it would not reinstate sacked employees, but would look at ‘other alternatives’.’
    • ‘The Tories would scrap rules preventing employers sacking striking workers during the first eight weeks of action, he said.’
    • ‘Last week six Cable and Wireless employees were sacked and two more resigned - all because they sent smutty e-mails at work.’
    • ‘How many hospitals and schools are we prepared to see go to the wall, sacking employees, getting into debt, slashing pay to save jobs?’
    • ‘The men have been locked in a wrangle with their employers since they were sacked in 2000 amid allegations of bullying and harassment.’
    • ‘A business acquaintance tried to sack two employees recently: the first for incompetence, the second for tardiness.’
    dismiss, give someone their notice, throw out, get rid of, lay off, make redundant, let go, discharge, cashier
    fire, kick out, boot out, give someone the sack, give someone the boot, give someone the bullet, give someone the heave-ho, give someone the old heave-ho, give someone the elbow, give someone the push, give someone their marching orders, show someone the door, send packing
    give someone their cards, turf out
    out
    View synonyms
  • 2sack outNorth American informal Go to sleep or bed.

    • ‘After getting hardly any sleep the night before, he had been dying to crawl into bed and sack out, but no matter how tired he was, sleep eluded him.’
  • 3American Football
    Tackle (a quarterback) behind the line of scrimmage before he can throw a pass.

    • ‘Next down, he charged around the left tackle and sacked the quarterback for a safety.’
    • ‘During that season, San Francisco sacked enemy quarterbacks 61 times.’
    • ‘He already is helping to sell tickets, but it may take him a little longer to figure out how to sack the quarterback on a consistent basis.’
    • ‘He uses a chop that allows him to create fumbles when he's sacking the quarterback.’
    • ‘Chuck Walsh conquered every player he went up against and was able to sack Windsor's quarterback twice.’
    • ‘For the last two seasons, the Texans have been one of the worst defenses in the league at sacking the quarterback.’
  • 4rare Put into a sack or sacks.

    • ‘Well, prior to going out to collect the buggies, I was inside sacking groceries at the express counter.’
    • ‘Mr. Cahm Gastineau, an old time thresherman, and my friend for 60 years, took care of sacking the grain.’
    • ‘Packing sheds were constructed for growers to sort and sack the potatoes for shipment.’

Phrases

  • hit the sack

    • informal Go to bed.

      • ‘Well reckon I should hit the sack else I won't be able to get up tomorrow!’
      • ‘I know there was no wound on my wrist before hitting the sack because upon retiring I took off my watch and did not observe any blemish in the left wrist area.’
      • ‘But I am sleepy right now and I will be hitting the sack.’
      • ‘Man oh man, he kept talkin’ about some Model T Ford and all I wanted was to hit the sack.’
      • ‘Anyhow, I want to do some reading before I hit the sack.’
      • ‘Watching them play last night was a nice way to end the day before hitting the sack with a smile.’
      • ‘After his long 11-hour workday you'd think Lipani would hit the sack.’
      • ‘We went for another waltz down ‘Da Street’ before hitting the sack, only stopping for one last drink at a beachside bar where an Elvis impersonater was performing.’
      • ‘Perhaps this headache had something to do with the fact that I hit the sack at 7:30 pm last night and slept for the entire night - double my usual night's sleep.’
      • ‘I work so hard all day long that when I finally get to get upstairs, I'm ready to hit the sack or just settle in and read.’
      • ‘Having got that off my chest, I am going to have a shower, and hit the sack.’
      • ‘Late in the evening, when I announced I was ready to hit the sack, Graham asked: ‘How are you feeling after your restful day?’’
      • ‘Would you like a hot chocolate before hitting the sack, Harley?’
      • ‘I recommend you clean your face with a scrubbing gel in the morning before going to work or at night before hitting the sack.’
      • ‘Last night we only hit the sack around 3am, and tonight could be a late one.’
      • ‘Once the two were out of hearing range, Stacy turned to Jen and asked, ‘So you hitting the sack with Michael or what?’’
      • ‘Post-dinner, I decided to catch up with some reading before hitting the sack.’
      • ‘Got home around 12:30 or so, played around on the computer for a bit, then finished up Charlotte's Web before hitting the sack.’
      • ‘By the time we hit the sack, it was after two in the morning.’
      • ‘Anyhow, I'm also cold and it's really late, so I'm going to do some reading, get through the exciting parts of The Moonstone, and hit the sack.’
      go to bed, retire, go to one's room, call it a day, go to sleep
      turn in, hit the hay
      View synonyms
  • a sack of potatoes

    • informal Used in similes to refer to clumsiness, inertness, or unceremonious treatment of the person or thing in question.

      ‘he drags me in like a sack of potatoes’
      • ‘I would spend hours in a delightful daydream where the school bus bully would be thrown around like a sack of potatoes with his coterie laughing their heads off nearby.’
      • ‘It was Franklin Roosevelt, as inert as a sack of potatoes.’
      • ‘By being dragged from cell to cell like a sack of potatoes, the prisoner realizes that he is just an object, a nobody.’
      • ‘That's when the bouncer picked Chad up like a sack of potatoes and a scuffle ensued.’
      • ‘After another hour or two of shop talk I was positively exhausted and dropped into bed like a sack of potatoes, only to wake up before 4 am, unable to sleep.’
      • ‘He ended up half-carrying, half-dragging me to his car, where he dumped me unceremoniously like a sack of potatoes.’
      • ‘You struck Mr Ryan three vicious blows to his stomach, causing him to collapse like a sack of potatoes into the gutter.’
      • ‘Watching me flop back and forth like a sack of potatoes, he said, ‘How about we get the stable master to give you riding lessons as well?’’

Origin

Old English sacc, from Latin saccus sack, sackcloth from Greek sakkos, of Semitic origin. sack dates from the mid 19th century.

Pronunciation

sack

/sak/

Main definitions of sack in English

: sack1sack2sack3

sack2

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • (chiefly in historical contexts) plunder and destroy (a captured town, building, or other place)

    • ‘At one point in the chaotic revolution, a mob loyal to the deposed Prince Sihanouk sacked the governor's mansion in Kompong Cham.’
    • ‘A warlord and his army has sacked several villages in a near-by valley.’
    • ‘Only at the colony of Camulodunum, the first town sacked by Boudica, does the entire settlement appear to have been burnt to the ground.’
    • ‘Hereford was, by contrast, vulnerable to the Welsh, who sacked the cathedral in 1055 and killed the bishop, Leofgar.’
    • ‘Savi's house and shop were sacked as the crowd moved toward the commercial capital away from the site of detention.’
    • ‘Then, an army of warriors and men dressed in black cowls came from the direction of Plunder castle and sacked the town.’
    • ‘Actually, sacking an eminent laboratory was hardly a recommended extracurricular activity for one as reserved and cultured as Noriko.’
    • ‘Devastating or plundering land without sacking a city was a regular tactic at the time and one that, as long as people had a secure place of retreat, was not particularly fearsome.’
    • ‘They hid out in empty houses as Rabbani's Tajiks entered and sacked the city.’
    • ‘In the legend of that tale, the Mongols sacked the metropolis, put its people to the sword, and dumped the books of its libraries in the Tigris.’
    • ‘Especially the bit where Achilles has sacked the temple of Apollo and goes out onto the hilltop to raise his sword to the cheers of the army on the beach below.’
    • ‘Commanding 36 ships and 2000 fellow buccaneers, Morgan sacked the town and left his men to the burning and looting.’
    • ‘The culture of Mercia is almost wholly lost to us: it had no Bede to record its achievements, and its greatest monasteries were sacked by the Vikings.’
    • ‘In 1204 the Crusaders and Venetians attacked Constantinople and sacked the city.’
    • ‘Yes, Alexander invaded the old Persian empire, killed armies who opposed him and sacked towns that refused to surrender.’
    • ‘Another Egyptian army sacked a nearby town and killed all its inhabitants, but then likewise withdrew.’
    • ‘Wang's mausoleum was sacked soon after his kingdom was toppled.’
    • ‘In 1204, the Fourth Crusade sacked the city, and destroyed many of the texts.’
    • ‘The crowd surged through and headed for the various buildings, smashing doors and windows and systematically sacking the offices.’
    • ‘Epsilon's contingent was no more than an advance scouting party, but it was very nearly large enough to sack a small town.’
    ravage, lay waste, devastate, ransack, strip, fleece, plunder, pillage, loot, rob, raid
    despoil
    spoil, reave
    depredate, spoliate, forage
    View synonyms

noun

  • The pillaging of a town or city.

    • ‘Angkor Thom, the capital city built after the Cham sack of 1177, is surrounded by a 300-foot wide moat.’
    • ‘So the Fourth Crusade began with the sack and destruction of a Roman Catholic town in 1202!’
    • ‘Strabo does not, however, explicitly refer to the sack of the city of Old Pleuron.’
    • ‘Magnificent mosques were toppled; palace after palace was looted in the orgy of destruction that was the sack of Baghdad.’
    • ‘The example of Alaric, to whom the sack of Rome had brought little lasting success, may have served as a warning.’
    • ‘The statue must have been damaged during the sack of the city by the Franks in 355 AD.’
    • ‘The armor is engraved with scenes of Roman days to come: Romulus and Remus, the founding of the republic, the sack of the city by Gauls.’
    • ‘But I imagine the news that the Roman Colosseum appears to have been constructed from loot from the sack of the Jewish temple in Jerusalem might be worth an extra chapter or two?’
    laying waste, ransacking, plunder, plundering, sacking, looting, ravaging, pillage, pillaging, devastation, depredation, stripping, robbery, robbing, raiding
    despoiling, rape, rapine, ravin
    spoliation
    View synonyms

Origin

Mid 16th century: from French sac, in the phrase mettre à sac put to sack on the model of Italian fare il sacco, mettere a sacco, which perhaps originally referred to filling a sack with plunder.

Pronunciation

sack

/sak/

Main definitions of sack in English

: sack1sack2sack3

sack3

noun

historical
  • A dry white wine formerly imported into Britain from Spain and the Canary Islands.

    • ‘The modern sherry is a descendent of Falstaff's sack, though shortly after his day it began to be made by the more complicated modern process which includes adding brandy.’
    • ‘Yet after wine and mead and sack, man must have a massive snack.’
    • ‘In the 17th century, sack (like sweet sherry), claret, or orange juice were used in eating possets.’
    • ‘In the Middle Ages many Alsace wines were fortified or spiced in order to compete with the fuller bodied Mediterranean wines such as sack and malmsey.’
    • ‘As well as drinking a variety of waters… he drank brandy, port, claret, sack, and birch juice wine which he found to be delicious.’

Origin

Early 16th century: from the phrase wyne seck, from French vin sec dry wine.

Pronunciation

sack

/sak/