A backpack is a bag you wear on your back, with straps over your shoulders. Lots of kids carry their books to school in a backpack.

A hiker might carry a heavy backpack for miles, with food and a folded tent inside, while a kindergartner's backpack will be much smaller, and may have a cartoon character on it. You can also call this portable kind of bag a rucksack. If you hike with a backpack, you go backpacking, and you can call yourself a backpacker. The word's been around since the earliest 20th century.

Definitions of backpack
  1. noun
    a bag carried by a strap on your back or shoulder
    synonyms: back pack, haversack, knapsack, packsack, rucksack
    see moresee less
    kit bag, kitbag
    a knapsack (usually for a soldier)
    type of:
    a flexible container with a single opening
  2. verb
    hike with a backpack
    “Every summer they are backpacking in the Rockies”
    synonyms: pack
    see moresee less
    type of:
    walk a long way, as for pleasure or physical exercise
Word Family

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week