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[bak-pak] /ˈbækˌpæk/
a pack or knapsack, often of canvas or nylon, to be carried on one's back, sometimes supported on a lightweight metal frame strapped to the body.
a piece of equipment designed to be used while being carried on the back.
verb (used without object)
to go on a hike, using a backpack:
We went backpacking in the Adirondacks.
verb (used with object)
to place or carry in a backpack or on one's back.
Origin of backpack
1910-15, Americanism; back1 + pack1
Related forms
backpacker, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for backpack
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Laughing, he picked up his backpack, turned on his heel and hurried away.

    Little Brother Cory Doctorow
  • They had a little table between them with the contents of my wallet and backpack spread out on it.

    Little Brother Cory Doctorow
  • "Handsome glassware," Auguste said, seating himself and carefully setting his backpack between his feet.

    Shaman Robert Shea
  • Opening his backpack, he took out his leather medicine bag and drew out the stones one by one, rubbing his fingers over each.

    Shaman Robert Shea
British Dictionary definitions for backpack


a rucksack or knapsack
a pack carried on the back of an astronaut, containing oxygen cylinders, essential supplies, etc
(intransitive) to travel about or go hiking with a backpack
(transitive) to transport (food or equipment) by backpack
Derived Forms
backpacker, noun
backpacking, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for backpack

1914 as a noun, 1916 as a verb, from back (n.) + pack (n.). Related: Backpacked; backpacking.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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