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 sæcc (sackcloth, sacking); both from Proto-West Germanic *sakku, from late Proto-Germanic *sakkuz (sack), borrowed from Latin saccus (large bag), from Ancient Greek σάκκος (sákkos, bag of coarse cloth), from Semitic, possibly Phoenician or Hebrew.

Cognate with Dutch zak, German Sack, Swedish säck, Danish sæk, Hebrew שַׂק(śaq, sack, sackcloth), Aramaic סַקָּא‎, Classical Syriac ܣܩܐ‎, Ge'ez ሠቅ (śäḳ), Akkadian 𒆭𒊓 (saqqu), Egyptian sꜣgꜣ. Doublet of sac, saccus, saco, and sakkos.

Černý and Forbes suggest the word was originally Egyptian, a nominal derivative of sꜣq (to gather or put together) that also yielded Coptic ⲥⲟⲕ (sok, sackcloth) and was borrowed into Greek perhaps by way of a Semitic intermediary. However, Vycichl and Hoch reject this idea, noting that such an originally Egyptian word would be expected to yield Hebrew *סַק rather than שַׂק‎. Instead, they posit that the Coptic and Greek words are both borrowed from Semitic, with the Coptic word perhaps developing via Egyptian sꜣgꜣ.

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, volume 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[1], 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 behind the line of scrimmage.
  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.
    give (someone) the sack
    The boss is gonna give her the sack today.
    He got the sack for being late all the time.
    • 2023 October 4, Damien Gayle, Ajit Niranjan, “Climate scientist faces sack for refusing to fly to Germany from Solomon Islands archipelago”, in The Guardian[2], →ISSN:
      A climate researcher has been threatened with the sack by his employer after refusing to fly back to Germany at short notice after finishing fieldwork on Bougainville in the Solomon Islands archipelago.
  8. (colloquial, US, literally or figurative) Bed.
    hit the sack
    in the sack
  9. (dated) 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.
    Alternative form: sacque
    • 1749, Henry Fielding, chapter VII, in The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling, volumes (please specify |volume=I to VI), London: A[ndrew] Millar, [], →OCLC, book IV:
      Molly, therefore, having dressed herself out in this sack, with a new laced cap, and some other ornaments which Tom had given her, repairs to church with her fan in her hand the very next Sunday.
    • 1780, Frances Burney, Journals & Letters, Penguin, published 2001, page 151:
      Her Dress, too, was of the same cast, a thin muslin short sacque and Coat lined throughout with Pink, – a modesty bit – and something of a very short cloak half concealed about half of her old wrinkled Neck […].
    • 1828, JT Smith, Nollekens and His Times, Century Hutchinson, published 1986, page 13:
      This lady's interesting figure, on her wedding-day, was attired in a sacque and petticoat of the most expensive brocaded white silk, resembling net-work, enriched with small flowers [] .
  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.
Synonyms[edit]
Hyponyms[edit]
Derived terms[edit]
Terms derived from sack (noun)
Related terms[edit]
Descendants[edit]
  • Japanese: サック (sakku)
Translations[edit]

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.
    • 1903 July, Jack London, “The Sounding of the Call”, in The Call of the Wild, New York, N.Y.: The Macmillan Company; London: Macmillan & Co., →OCLC, page 197:
      The gold was sacked in moose-hide bags, fifty pounds to the bag, and piled like so much firewood outside the spruce-bough lodge.
    • 1942 May-June, “Notes and News”, in Railway Magazine, page 187, photo caption:
      A girl porter sacking some of the many thousands of used railway tickets which are turned over by the London Passenger Transport Board to assist the waste paper salvage campaign
  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.
    Synonyms: loot, ransack
    The barbarians sacked Rome in 410 CE.
    • c. 1587–1588, [Christopher Marlowe], Tamburlaine the Great. [] The First Part [], 2nd edition, part 1, London: [] [R. Robinson for] Richard Iones, [], published 1592, →OCLC; reprinted as Tamburlaine the Great (A Scolar Press Facsimile), Menston, Yorkshire, London: Scolar Press, 1973, →ISBN, (please specify the page):
      Thoſe thouſand horſe shall ſweat with martiall ſpoyle
      Of conquered kingdomes, and of Cities ſackt, []
    • 1898, Homer, translated by Samuel Butler, The Iliad, Book IX:
      It [a lyre] was part of the spoils which he had taken when he sacked the city of Eetion []
  4. (American football) To tackle the quarterback behind the line of scrimmage, especially 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, transitive) To discharge from a job or position; to fire.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:lay off
    He was sacked last September.
    • 1999 March 5, “Russian media mogul dismisses Yeltsin's bid to sack him”, in CNN.com:
      [] Boris Berezovsky on Friday dismissed President Boris Yeltsin's move to sack him from his post as executive secretary of the Commonwealth of Independent States, []
    • 2008, “I Wish That They'd Sack Me”, in The Boy Bands Have Won, performed by Chumbawamba:
      Waste my time working for cowards and creeps / Oh I wish that they'd sack me and leave me to sleep
    • 2021 July 28, Paul Bigland, “Calder line captures picturesque Pennines”, in RAIL, number 936, page 66:
      As an aside, Luddendenfoot once had a famous (or perhaps infamous) clerk - drunkard Branwell Brontë, brother to the famous Brontë sisters and writers. He was sacked from his post in March 1842 after an audit revealed a discrepancy in the books. Today, a blue plaque on the Jubilee Refreshment rooms at Sowerby Bridge station commemorates him.
    • 2022 September 13, Mark Trevelyan, Filipp Lebedev, “Russian council faces dissolution after call for Putin's removal”, in Bill Berkrot, editor, Reuters[3], archived from the original on 13 September 2022, Europe‎[4]:
      A group of St Petersburg local politicians who called for President Vladimir Putin to be sacked over the war in Ukraine faces the likely dissolution of their district council following a judge's ruling on Tuesday, one of the deputies said.
    • For more quotations using this term, see Citations:sack.
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Etymology 2[edit]

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

Noun[edit]

sack (countable and uncountable, 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.
    • c. 1590–1592 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Taming of the Shrew”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, (please specify the act number in uppercase Roman numerals, and the scene number in lowercase Roman numerals):
      Will't please your lordship drink a cup of sack? ...I ne'er drank sack in my life...
    • c. 1597 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The First Part of Henry the Fourth, []”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, (please specify the act number in uppercase Roman numerals, and the scene number in lowercase Roman numerals):
      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?
    • 1610–1611 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Tempest”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act II, scene ii]:
      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!
    • The New Sporting Magazine (volume 15, page 23)
      The vesper bell had rung its parting note; the domini were mostly caged in comfortable quarters, discussing the merits of old port; and the merry student had closed his oak, to consecrate the night to friendship, sack, and claret.
Derived terms[edit]
See also[edit]

Etymology 3[edit]

Noun[edit]

sack (plural sacks)

  1. Dated form of sac (pouch in a plant or animal).
    • 1938, The Microscope, volumes 1-2, page 56:
      Sometimes fishes are born that have rudimentary yolk sacks. Such young are born prematurely.

Etymology 4[edit]

Verb[edit]

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

  1. Alternative spelling of sac (sacrifice)

Noun[edit]

sack (plural sacks)

  1. Alternative spelling of sac (sacrifice)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Anagrams[edit]