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hard +‎ pack


hardpack (countable and uncountable, plural hardpacks)

  1. (uncountable) A material (such as dirt, gravel, or snow) compressed into a hard, smooth surface for roads etc.
    • 1918, The Industrial Enterprise[1], volume 25, number 4, page 1:
      The muzzle was filled for some inches with hardpack snow, after he had dug that out with his knife, he found the lock frozen up and snow all over the nipple.
    • 1958, Roads and Streets, volume 101, page 131:
      Field reports indicate that the new cutting edge here pictured performs exceptionally well in rock, shale, limestone, hardpack clay, sandstone and other tight formations.
    • 1995 February 1, Ski[2], page 36:
      Unlike powder, hardpack permits great speed (no spiny arms on those balls of ice to drag on your ski bottom). Where powder is sluggish, crudely transmitting your body movements to the snow, hardpack is the snow of precision.
  2. (countable) A hard package, especially of cigarettes.
    • 1978, Russell Banks, The New World: Tales[3], page 25:
      That's where she met Vic--tall, hawkfaced, blackhaired, wearing tight Levis and a black T-shirt with the pocket over his heart stretched around a hardpack box of Parliaments.
    • 2005, Shane A. Bernskoetter, Surviving Twilight[4]:
      Anderson came over to me and I noticed his ammo bandoliers were full of Marlboro hardpacks.
    • 2008, George P. Pelecanos, The Turnaround[5]:
      Outside, Billy broke the cellophane on a hardpack of Marlboro Reds, tore out the foil, and extracted a cigarette.