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1 [sak]
a large bag of strong, coarsely woven material, as for grain, potatoes, or coal.
the amount a sack holds.
a bag: a sack of candy.
Slang. dismissal or discharge, as from a job: to get the sack.
Slang. bed: I bet he's still in the sack.
Also, sacque.
a loose-fitting dress, as a gown with a Watteau back, especially one fashionable in the late 17th century and much of the 18th century.
a loose-fitting coat, jacket, or cape.
Baseball. a base.
South Midland U.S. the udder of a cow.
verb (used with object)
to put into a sack or sacks.
Football. to tackle (the quarterback) behind the line of scrimmage before the quarterback is able to throw a pass.
Slang. to dismiss or discharge, as from a job.
Verb phrases
sack out, Slang. to go to bed; fall asleep.
hit the sack, Slang. to go to bed; go to sleep: He never hits the sack before midnight.
hold the sack. bag ( def 26 ).

before 1000; 1940–45 for def 5; Middle English sak (noun), sakken (v.), Old English sacc (noun) < Latin saccus bag, sackcloth < Greek sákkos < Semitic; compare Hebrew śaq

sacklike, adjective

See bag.


2 [sak]
verb (used with object)
to pillage or loot after capture; plunder: to sack a city.
the plundering of a captured place; pillage: the sack of Troy.

1540–50; < Middle French phrase mettre à sac to put to pillage; sac, in this sense < Italian sacco looting, loot, shortened form of saccomano < Middle High German sakman pillager (conformed to sacco sack1)

1. spoil, despoil. See rob. 2. looting; destruction, ruin.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
sack1 (sæk)
1.  a large bag made of coarse cloth, thick paper, etc, used as a container
2.  Also called: sackful the amount contained in a sack, sometimes used as a unit of measurement
3.  a.  a woman's loose tube-shaped dress
 b.  Also called: sacque a woman's full loose hip-length jacket, worn in the 18th and mid-20th centuries
4.  short for rucksack
5.  (Austral) cricket Also called (in Britain and certain other countries): bye a run scored off a ball not struck by the batsman: allotted to the team as an extra and not to the individual batsman
6.  informal the sack dismissal from employment
7.  a slang word for bed
8.  slang hit the sack to go to bed
9.  (NZ) rough as sacks uncouth
10.  informal to dismiss from employment
11.  to put into a sack or sacks
[Old English sacc, from Latin saccus bag, from Greek sakkos; related to Hebrew saq]

sack2 (sæk)
1.  the plundering of a place by an army or mob, usually involving destruction, slaughter, etc
2.  American football a tackle on a quarterback which brings him down before he has passed the ball
3.  (tr) to plunder and partially destroy (a place)
4.  American football to tackle and bring down a quarterback before he has passed the ball
[C16: from French phrase mettre à sac, literally: to put (loot) in a sack, from Latin saccussack1]

sack3 (sæk)
archaic or trademark any dry white wine formerly imported into Britain from SW Europe
[C16 wyne seck, from French vin sec dry wine, from Latin siccus dry]

sacking (ˈsækɪŋ)
coarse cloth used for making sacks, woven from flax, hemp, jute, etc

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"large bag," O.E. sacc (W.Saxon), sec (Mercian), sæc (Old Kentish) "large cloth bag," also "sackcloth," from P.Gmc. *sakkiz (cf. M.Du. sak, O.H.G. sac, O.N. sekkr, but Goth. sakkus probably is directly from Gk.), an early borrowing from L. saccus (cf. O.Fr. sac, Sp. saco, It. sacco), from Gk. sakkos,
from Semitic (cf. Heb. saq "sack"). The wide spread of the word is probably due to the story of Joseph. Slang meaning "bunk, bed" is from 1825, originally nautical. The verb meaning "go to bed" is recorded from 1946.

"a dismissal from work," 1825, from sack (n.1), perhaps from the notion of the worker going off with his tools in a bag; the original formula was to give (someone) the sack. It is attested earlier in Fr. (on luy a donné son sac, 17c.) and M.Du. (iemand den zak geven).
The verb is recorded from 1841.

"sherry," 1531, alteration of Fr. vin sec "dry wine," from L. siccus "dry."

"to plunder," 1549, from M.Fr. sac, in the phrase mettre à sac "put it in a bag," a military leader's command to his troops to plunder a city (parallel to It. sacco, with the same range of meaning), from V.L. *saccare "to plunder," originally "to put plundered things into a sack," from L. saccus
"bag" (see sack (n.1)). The notion is probably of putting booty in a bag. This is the root of the verb in the U.S. football sense (1969).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Our twists and turns of mind make us vulnerable to sacking.
She's a harridan of a manager-ripping through the staff, sacking many old
  stalwarts, and slashing operating costs.
Sacking a contractor can mean that factories grind to a halt, bills languish
  unpaid and chaos mounts.
They are not allowed to punish strikers-by sacking them, for example.
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