Definition of knapsack in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈnapˌsak/


A bag with shoulder straps, carried on the back, and typically made of canvas or other weatherproof material.
Example sentences
  • 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.
  • The second girl reluctantly produced a pack of cigarettes from her knapsack and offered one to the man.
  • The thefts have occurred primarily at the DP library, where unattended knapsacks left inside study booths present an attractive opportunity for thieves.


Early 17th century: from Middle Low German, from Dutch knapzack, probably from German knappen 'to bite' + zak 'sack'.

  • This goes back to Dutch knapzack, probably from German knappen ‘to bite (food)’ and zak ‘sack’. It was first used by soldiers for carrying necessities such as food supplies.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: knap·sack

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