Main definitions of sack in English

: sack1sack2sack3

sack1

Pronunciation /sak/ /sæk/

noun

  • 1A large bag made of a strong material such as burlap, thick paper, or plastic, used for storing and carrying goods.

    bag, pack, pouch, pocket
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1The contents of a sack or the amount it can contain.
      ‘ a sack of flour’
  • 2

    (also sack dress)
    A woman's short loose unwaisted dress, typically narrowing at the hem, popular especially in the 1950s.

    1. 2.1historical A woman's long loose gown.
    2. 2.2A decorative piece of dress material fastened to the shoulders of a woman's gown in loose pleats and forming a long train, fashionable in the 18th century.
  • 3the sackinformal Dismissal from employment.

    ‘he got the sack for swearing’
    ‘they were given the sack’
    dismissal, discharge, redundancy, termination of employment, one's marching orders
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  • 4the sackNorth American informal Bed, especially as regarded as a place for sex.

  • 5Baseball
    informal A base.

  • 6American Football
    An act of tackling a quarterback behind the line of scrimmage before he can throw a pass.

transitive verb

[with object]
  • 1informal Dismiss from employment.

    ‘any official found to be involved would be sacked on the spot’
    dismiss, give someone their notice, throw out, get rid of, lay off, make redundant, let go, discharge, cashier
    View synonyms
  • 2American Football
    Tackle (a quarterback) behind the line of scrimmage before he can throw a pass.

    ‘Oregon intercepted five of his passes and sacked him five times’
  • 3rare Put into a sack or sacks.

    ‘a small part of his wheat had been sacked’

Phrases

    a sack of potatoes
    informal
    • Used in comparisons to refer to the clumsiness, inertness, or unceremonious treatment of the person or thing in question.

      ‘he drags me in like a sack of potatoes’
    hit the sack
    informal
    • Go to bed.

Phrasal Verbs

    sack out
    North American informal
    • Go to bed, or go to sleep.

Origin

Old English sacc, from Latin saccus ‘sack, sackcloth’, from Greek sakkos, of Semitic origin. Sense 1 of the verb dates from the mid 19th century.

Pronunciation

sack

/sak/ /sæk/

Main definitions of sack in English

: sack1sack2sack3

sack2

Pronunciation /sak/ /sæk/

transitive verb

[with object]
  • (chiefly in historical contexts) plunder and destroy (a captured town, building, or other place)

    ‘the fort was rebuilt in AD 158 and was sacked again in AD 197’
    • ‘Then, an army of warriors and men dressed in black cowls came from the direction of Plunder castle and sacked the town.’
    • ‘Devastating or plundering land without sacking a city was a regular tactic at the time and one that, as long as people had a secure place of retreat, was not particularly fearsome.’
    • ‘Commanding 36 ships and 2000 fellow buccaneers, Morgan sacked the town and left his men to the burning and looting.’
    • ‘Yes, Alexander invaded the old Persian empire, killed armies who opposed him and sacked towns that refused to surrender.’
    • ‘Only at the colony of Camulodunum, the first town sacked by Boudica, does the entire settlement appear to have been burnt to the ground.’
    • ‘Another Egyptian army sacked a nearby town and killed all its inhabitants, but then likewise withdrew.’
    • ‘Epsilon's contingent was no more than an advance scouting party, but it was very nearly large enough to sack a small town.’
    • ‘The crowd surged through and headed for the various buildings, smashing doors and windows and systematically sacking the offices.’
    • ‘In 1204, the Fourth Crusade sacked the city, and destroyed many of the texts.’
    • ‘Savi's house and shop were sacked as the crowd moved toward the commercial capital away from the site of detention.’
    • ‘They hid out in empty houses as Rabbani's Tajiks entered and sacked the city.’
    • ‘Especially the bit where Achilles has sacked the temple of Apollo and goes out onto the hilltop to raise his sword to the cheers of the army on the beach below.’
    • ‘Wang's mausoleum was sacked soon after his kingdom was toppled.’
    • ‘At one point in the chaotic revolution, a mob loyal to the deposed Prince Sihanouk sacked the governor's mansion in Kompong Cham.’
    • ‘In the legend of that tale, the Mongols sacked the metropolis, put its people to the sword, and dumped the books of its libraries in the Tigris.’
    • ‘In 1204 the Crusaders and Venetians attacked Constantinople and sacked the city.’
    • ‘Actually, sacking an eminent laboratory was hardly a recommended extracurricular activity for one as reserved and cultured as Noriko.’
    • ‘A warlord and his army has sacked several villages in a near-by valley.’
    • ‘The culture of Mercia is almost wholly lost to us: it had no Bede to record its achievements, and its greatest monasteries were sacked by the Vikings.’
    • ‘Hereford was, by contrast, vulnerable to the Welsh, who sacked the cathedral in 1055 and killed the bishop, Leofgar.’
    ravage, lay waste, devastate, ransack, strip, fleece, plunder, pillage, loot, rob, raid
    View synonyms

noun

  • The pillaging of a town or city.

    ‘the sack of Rome’
    • ‘The statue must have been damaged during the sack of the city by the Franks in 355 AD.’
    • ‘The armor is engraved with scenes of Roman days to come: Romulus and Remus, the founding of the republic, the sack of the city by Gauls.’
    • ‘Strabo does not, however, explicitly refer to the sack of the city of Old Pleuron.’
    • ‘So the Fourth Crusade began with the sack and destruction of a Roman Catholic town in 1202!’
    • ‘Palace after palace was looted in the orgy of destruction that was the sack of Baghdad.’
    • ‘But I imagine the news that the Roman Colosseum appears to have been constructed from loot from the sack of the Jewish temple in Jerusalem might be worth an extra chapter or two?’
    • ‘Angkor Thom, the capital city built after the Cham sack of 1177, is surrounded by a 300-foot wide moat.’
    • ‘The example of Alaric, to whom the sack of Rome had brought little lasting success, may have served as a warning.’
    laying waste, ransacking, plunder, plundering, sacking, looting, ravaging, pillage, pillaging, devastation, depredation, stripping, robbery, robbing, raiding
    View synonyms

Origin

Mid 16th century from French sac, in the phrase mettre à sac ‘put to sack’, on the model of Italian fare il sacco, mettere a sacco, which perhaps originally referred to filling a sack with plunder.

Pronunciation

sack

/sak/ /sæk/

Main definitions of sack in English

: sack1sack2sack3

sack3

Pronunciation /sak/ /sæk/

noun

historical
  • A dry white wine formerly imported into Britain from Spain and the Canary Islands.

    • ‘In the Middle Ages many Alsace wines were fortified or spiced in order to compete with the fuller bodied Mediterranean wines such as sack and malmsey.’
    • ‘In the 17th century, sack (like sweet sherry), claret, or orange juice were used in eating possets.’
    • ‘Yet after wine and mead and sack, man must have a massive snack.’
    • ‘As well as drinking a variety of waters… he drank brandy, port, claret, sack, and birch juice wine which he found to be delicious.’
    • ‘The modern sherry is a descendent of Falstaff's sack, though shortly after his day it began to be made by the more complicated modern process which includes adding brandy.’

Origin

Early 16th century from the phrase wyne seck, from French vin sec ‘dry wine’.

Pronunciation

sack

/sak/ /sæk/