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From Middle English bagage, from Old French bagage, from bague (bundle), from Germanic (compare bag).



baggage (usually uncountable, plural baggages)

  1. (usually uncountable) Luggage; traveling equipment
    Please put your baggage in the trunk.
    • 1929, Charles Georges Souli, Eastern Shame Girl[1]:
      As soon as they had determined on their course, Ya-nei slid under the bed, and made himself a place among the baggages.
    • 1991 September 20, Jonathan Rosenbaum, “Love Films: A Cassavetes Retrospective”, in Chicago Reader[2]:
      Alone, she clings to her baggages on the street.
    • 2014 August 21, “A brazen heist in Paris [print version: International New York Times, 22 August 2014, p. 8]”, in The New York Times[3]:
      The audacious hijacking in Paris of a van carrying the baggage of a Saudi prince to his private jet is obviously an embarrassment to the French capital, whose ultra-high-end boutiques have suffered a spate of heists in recent months.
  2. (uncountable, informal) Factors, especially psychological ones, which interfere with a person's ability to function effectively.
    This person has got a lot of emotional baggage.
    • 1846, Henry Francis Cary, Lives of the English Poets[4]:
      [] How much shall I honour one, who has a stronger propensity to poetry, and has got a greater name in it, if he performs his promise to me of putting away these idle baggages after his sacred espousal.
  3. (obsolete, countable, pejorative) A woman.
    • 1828, Various, The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 10, No. 288[5]:
      Betty and Molly (they were soft-hearted baggages) felt for their master--pitied their poor master!
    • 1897, Charles Whibley, A Book of Scoundrels[6]:
      But he had a roving eye and a joyous temperament; and though he loved me better than any of the baggages to whom he paid court, he would not visit me so often as he should.
    • 1910, Gertrude Hall, Chantecler[7]:
      But your perverse attempts to wring blushes from little baggages in convenient corners outrage my love of Love!
  4. (military, countable and uncountable) An army's portable equipment; its baggage train.
    • 1865, Thomas Carlyle, History of Friedrich II of Prussia[8]:
      Friedrich decides to go down the River; he himself to Lowen, perhaps near twenty miles farther down, but where there is a Bridge and Highway leading over; Prince Leopold, with the heavier divisions and baggages, to Michelau, some miles nearer, and there to build his Pontoons and cross.
    • 2007, Norman Davies, No Simple Victory: World War II in Europe, 1939–1945, New York: Penguin, p 305:
      In Poland, for example, the unknown Bolesław Bierut, who appeared in 1944 in the baggage of the Red Army, and who played a prominent role as a ‘non-party figure’ in the Lublin Committee, turned out to be a Soviet employee formerly working for the Comintern.


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