Definition of


  1. (noun, act) the termination of someone's employment (leaving them free to depart)
  2. (noun, act) the plundering of a place by an army or mob; usually involves destruction and slaughter
  3. (noun, artifact) a loose-fitting dress hanging straight from the shoulders without a waist
  4. (noun, artifact) a hanging bed of canvas or rope netting (usually suspended between two trees); swings easily
  5. (noun, artifact) a bag made of paper or plastic for holding customer's purchases
  6. (noun, artifact) a woman's full loose hiplength jacket
  7. (noun, food) any of various light dry strong white wine from Spain and Canary Islands (including sherry)
  8. (noun, quantity) the quantity contained in a sack
  9. (noun, shape) an enclosed space
  10. (verb, contact) put in a sack
  11. (verb, possession) make as a net profit
  12. (verb, possession) plunder (a town) after capture
  13. (verb, social) terminate the employment of; discharge from an office or position
    The company terminated 25% of its workers

via WordNet, Princeton University

Origin of the word Sack

  1. "large bag," O.E. sacc (W.Saxon), sec (Mercian), s?c (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. more
  2. "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 donn? son sac, 17c.) and M.Du. (iemand den zak geven). The verb is recorded from 1841. more
  3. "sherry," 1531, alteration of Fr. vin sec "dry wine," from L. siccus "dry." more
  4. "to plunder," 1549, from M.Fr. sac, in the phrase mettre ? 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 o… more

via Online Etymology Dictionary, ©2001 Douglas Harper

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