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.
to go on a hike, using a backpack:
We went backpacking in the Adirondacks.
to place or carry in a backpack or on one’s back.
Contemporary Examples

Stuffing the bagged snake into a backpack, we head for the truck.
How to Catch a Giant Python Catharine Skipp February 27, 2010

A 4th grade Jessie James with a backpack and juice box, who practices trumpet and plays soccer.
Woman Finds Mysterious Charges on Her iTunes Bill: A Modern Whodunit! Nancy Neufeld Callaway January 30, 2014

This past weekend I was in New York, walking through Central Park, and noticed a backpack abandoned on a bench.
America’s Favorite Crime Writer Daily Beast Promotions May 25, 2009

His elder daughter Lily winds up carrying the backpack just so Jane will shut up.
Why Is Louis C.K. So Funny? He Uses Humor as a Moral Compass. Andrew Romano May 1, 2014

Jonze himself plays an interviewer, and a small boyish-looking puppet with a backpack plays Spike as pompous artiste.
Spike Jonze’s Wild World Caryn James October 5, 2009

Gazarian took his backpack with a few personal items, said goodbye to his wife and his two daughters and hopped on a bus.
As Authorities Crack Down, Activists Escape From Russia Anna Nemtsova December 24, 2012

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

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

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


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    a briefing for the press in which an official, often from government or business, gives background information to clarify particular policies, actions, or newsworthy issues, with the understanding that the official will not be named or quoted directly in any resulting press reports. any briefing or report for the purpose of providing background information.

  • Back-paddle

    to propel a boat by paddling backward, as by using a stroke in the direction of stern to bow.

  • Back pass

    noun (soccer) a deliberate pass backwards to the goalkeeper Historical Examples Hands behind the back pass the ball round and round, and the girl inside the ring tries to find it. Jamaican Song and Story Walter Jekyll Wigs in three divisions of loops at the back pass by, wigs in long queues, wigs in back […]

  • Back-patting

    an act or instance of offering praise or congratulation: The winners indulged in a certain amount of mutual back-patting. Historical Examples And in all this outpouring of sentiment, this hand-shaking and back-patting, nobody thought to offer a kind word to old Waddles. Fore! Charles Emmett Van Loan

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