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
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    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
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    type of:
    walk a long way, as for pleasure or physical exercise
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