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Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English sakles, sacless (innocent), from Old English saclēas (free from charge, innocent, safe), from Proto-Germanic *sakalausaz (free from accusation), equivalent to sake +‎ -less. Cognate with Danish sagesløs (blameless), Swedish saklös (blamesless), Icelandic saklaus (innocent). More at sake, -less.


sackless (comparative more sackless, superlative most sackless)

  1. (provincial, Northern England, poetic or archaic) Blameless, guiltless, innocent.
    Defaming and framing sackless folks is no different than killing them.
    • 1838, Walter Scott, The Poetical Works of Sir Walter Scott: with the author's introductions and notes, page 196:
      [] And where that sackless knight lies slain, []
      The candles will burn bright.
    • 1900: Eiríkur Magnússon, William Morris, The Story of Grettir the Strong (page 149)
      [] and how Thorir of Garth would not that Grettir should be made sackless.

Usage notes[edit]

Though otherwise dated, the word sackless is still used in translations of the Old Norse / Old Icelandic sagas and related contexts.


  • Northumberland Words, Oliver Heslop and Harry Haldane, 1894.