1. 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.
  2. a piece of equipment designed to be used while being carried on the back.

verb (used without object)

  1. to go on a hike, using a backpack: We went backpacking in the Adirondacks.

verb (used with object)

  1. to place or carry in a backpack or on one’s back.


  1. a rucksack or knapsack
  2. a pack carried on the back of an astronaut, containing oxygen cylinders, essential supplies, etc


  1. (intr) to travel about or go hiking with a backpack
  2. (tr) 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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