a. A bag, especially one made of strong material for holding grain or objects in bulk.
b. The amount that a sack can hold: sold two sacks of rice.
- also sacque A short loose-fitting garment for women and children.
- Slang Dismissal from employment: finally got the sack after a year of ineptitude.
- Informal A bed, mattress, or sleeping bag: hit the sack at 10:00.
- Baseball A base.
- Football A successful attempt at sacking the quarterback.
transitive verbsacked, sack·ing, sacks
Phrasal Verbs: sack out Slang
- To place into a sack: sacked the groceries.
- Slang To discharge from employment: sacked the workers who were caught embezzling. See Synonyms at dismiss.
- Football To tackle (a quarterback attempting to pass the ball) behind the line of scrimmage.
Origin of sack
Middle English from
Old English sacc from
Latin saccus from
Greek sakkos of Semitic origin śqqWord History:
The ordinary word sack
carries within it a few thousand years of commercial history. The Greeks got their word sakkos,
“a bag made out of coarse cloth or hair,” from the Phoenicians with whom they traded. The Phoenician word does not happen to be attested in any Phoenician writings that survive from antiquity, but words related to it can be found in the other Semitic languages, such as Hebrew śaq
and Akkadian saqqu.
The Greeks then passed the sack, as it were, to the Romans as Latin saccus,
“a large bag or sack.” The Latin word was then transmitted to the Germanic tribes with whom the Romans traded, and they gave it the form *sakkiz.
(Similarly, many other languages of Europe, including Irish, Welsh, Albanian, Hungarian, Czech, Polish, and Russian, also have words derived from Greek sakkos
or Latin saccus.
) The speakers of Old English used two forms of the word, sæcc,
meaning “sackcloth” and descending from Germanic *sakkiz,
as well as sacc,
meaning “a sack, a bag” and borrowed directly from Latin. The second Old English form is the ancestor of our sack.
transitive verbsacked, sack·ing, sacks
To rob (a town, for example) of goods or valuables, especially after capture.
The looting or pillaging of a captured city or town.
Origin of sack Probably from
French (mettre à) sac (to put in) a sack from
Old French sac sack from
Latin saccus sack, bag
; see sack 1
Any of various light, dry, strong wines from Spain and the Canary Islands, imported to England in the 1500s and 1600s.
Origin of sack From
French (vin) sec dry (wine) from
Old French from
Latin siccus dry
- A bag; especially a large bag of strong, coarse material for storage and handling of various commodities, such as potatoes, coal, coffee; or, a bag with handles used at a supermarket, a grocery sack; or, a small bag for small items, a satchel.
- The amount a sack holds; also, an archaic or historical measure of varying capacity, depending on commodity type and according to local usage; an old English measure of weight, usually of wool, equal to 13 stone (182 pounds), or in other sources, 26 stone (364 pounds).
- (uncountable) The plunder and pillaging of a captured town or city.
- The sack of Rome.
- (uncountable) Loot or booty obtained by pillage.
- (American football) A successful tackle of the quarterback. See verb sense3 below.
- (baseball) One of the square bases anchored at first base, second base, or third base.
- He twisted his ankle sliding into the sack at second.
- (informal) Dismissal from employment, or discharge from a position, usually as give (someone) the sack or get the sack. See verb sense4 below.
- The boss is gonna give her the sack today.
- He got the sack for being late all the time.
- (colloquial, US) Bed; usually as hit the sack or in the sack. See also sack out.
- (dated) (also sacque) A kind of loose-fitting gown or dress with sleeves which hangs from the shoulders, such as a gown with a Watteau back or sack-back, fashionable in the late 17th to 18th century; or, formerly, a loose-fitting hip-length jacket, cloak or cape.
- (dated) A sack coat; a kind of coat worn by men, and extending from top to bottom without a cross seam.
- (vulgar, slang) The scrotum.
- He got passed the ball, but it hit him in the sack.
(third-person singular simple present sacks, present participle sacking, simple past and past participle sacked)
- To put in a sack or sacks.
- Help me sack the groceries.
- To bear or carry in a sack upon the back or the shoulders.
- To plunder or pillage, especially after capture; to obtain spoils of war from.
- The barbarians sacked Rome.
- (American football) To tackle, usually to tackle the offensive quarterback behind the line of scrimmage before he is able to throw a pass.
- (informal) To discharge from a job or position; to fire.
- He was sacked last September.
- (colloquial) In the phrase sack out, to fall asleep. See also hit the sack.
- The kids all sacked out before 9:00 on New Year's Eve.
From Middle English sak (“bag, sackcloth"), from Old English sacc (“sack, bag") and Old English sÃ¦cc (“sackcloth, sacking"); both from Proto-Germanic *sakkuz (“sack"), from Latin saccus (“large bag"), from Ancient Greek ÏƒÎ¬ÎºÎºÎ¿Ï‚ (sÃ¡kkos, “bag of coarse cloth"), from Phoenician, Ancient Egyptian ð“†·ð“ˆŽð“„œ (sAq, “sack"). Cognate with Dutch zak, German Sack, Swedish sÃ¤ck, Hebrew ×©Ö·×‚×§ (Å›aq), Akkadian ð’†ð’Š“ (saqqu).
- (dated) A variety of light-colored dry wine from Spain or the Canary Islands; also, any strong white wine from southern Europe; sherry.
From earlier (wyne) seck, from Middle French (vin) sec (“dry (wine)"), from Latin siccus (“dry")