sack

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See also: Sack and säck

English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English sak (bag, sackcloth), from Old English sacc (sack, bag) and Old English sæcc (sackcloth, sacking); both from Proto-Germanic *sakkuz (sack), from Latin saccus (large bag), from Ancient Greek σάκκος (sákkos, bag of coarse cloth), from Phoenician, Ancient Egyptian 𓆷𓈎𓄜 (sAq, sack). Cognate with Dutch zak, German Sack, Swedish säck, Hebrew שַׂק (śaq), Akkadian 𒆭𒊓 (saqqu).

Noun[edit]

sack (plural sacks)

  1. 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.
  2. 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).
    • The American sack of salt is 215 pounds; the sack of wheat, two bushels. — McElrath.
    • 1843, The Penny Cyclopaedia of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, Vol. 27, page 202
      Seven pounds make a clove, 2 cloves a stone, 2 stone a tod, 6 1/2 tods a wey, 2 weys a sack, 12 sacks a last. [...] It is to be observed here that a sack is 13 tods, and a tod 28 pounds, so that the sack is 364 pounds.
    • 1882, James Edwin Thorold Rogers, A History of Agriculture and Prices in England, Volume 4, page 209
      Generally, however, the stone or petra, almost always of 14 lbs., is used, the tod of 28 lbs., and the sack of thirteen stone.
  3. (uncountable) The plunder and pillaging of a captured town or city.
    The sack of Rome.
  4. (uncountable) Loot or booty obtained by pillage.
  5. (American football) A successful tackle of the quarterback. See verb sense3 below.
  6. (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.
  7. (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.
  8. (colloquial, US) Bed; usually as hit the sack or in the sack. See also sack out.
  9. (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.
  10. (dated) A sack coat; a kind of coat worn by men, and extending from top to bottom without a cross seam.
  11. (vulgar, slang) The scrotum.
    He got passed the ball, but it hit him in the sack.
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Verb[edit]

sack (third-person singular simple present sacks, present participle sacking, simple past and past participle sacked)

  1. To put in a sack or sacks.
    Help me sack the groceries.
  2. To bear or carry in a sack upon the back or the shoulders.
  3. To plunder or pillage, especially after capture; to obtain spoils of war from.
    The barbarians sacked Rome.
  4. (American football) To tackle, usually to tackle the offensive quarterback behind the line of scrimmage before he is able to throw a pass.
    • 1995, John Crumpacker and Gwen Knapp, "Sack-happy defensive line stuns Dolphins", SFGate.com, November 21,
      On third down, the rejuvenated Rickey Jackson stormed in over All-Pro left tackle Richmond Webb to sack Marino yet again for a 2-yard loss.
  5. (informal) To discharge from a job or position; to fire.
    He was sacked last September.
  6. (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.
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Etymology 2[edit]

From earlier (wyne) seck, from Middle French (vin) sec (dry (wine)), from Latin siccus (dry)

Noun[edit]

sack (plural sacks)

  1. (dated) A variety of light-colored dry wine from Spain or the Canary Islands; also, any strong white wine from southern Europe; sherry.
    • 1594, William Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew
      Will't please your lordship drink a cup of sack? ...I ne'er drank sack in my life...
    • 1598, William Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part 1
      Thou art so fat-witted, with drinking of old sack...let a cup of sack be my poison...Wherein is he good, but to taste sack and drink it?
    • 1610, The Tempest, by Shakespeare, act 2 scene 2
      How didst thou 'scape? How cam'st thou hither? swear / by this bottle how thou cam'st hither—I escaped upon / a butt of sack, which the sailors heaved overboard, by / this bottle! [...]
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