Dictionary: SACK – SAC-RA-MENT'A-RY

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SACK, n.2 [Fr. sec, seche, dry.]

A species of sweet wine, brought chiefly from the Canary isles. – Encyc. Fr. Dict.

SACK, n.3 [L. sagum, whence Gr. σαγος. But the word is Celtic or Teutonic; W. segan, a covering, a cloke.]

Among our rude ancestors, a kind of cloke of a square form, worn over the shoulders and body, and fastened in front by a clasp or thorn. It was originally made of skin, afterward of wool. In modern times, this name has been given to a woman's garment, a gown with loose plaits on the back; but no garment of this kind is now worn, and the word is in disuse. [See Varro, Strabo, Cluver, Bochart.]

SACK, n.4

The pillage or plunder of a town or city; or the storm and plunder of a town; as, the sack of Troy. – Dryden.

SACK, v.t.1

To put in a sack or in bags. – Betterton.

SACK, v.t.2 [Arm. sacqa; Ir. sacham, to attack; Sp. and Port. saquear, to plunder or pillage; Sp. to ransack; Sp. and Port. sacar, to pull out, extort, dispossess; It. saccheggiare, to sack; Fr. saccager, to pillage; saccade, a jerk, a sudden pull. From comparing this word and sack, a bag, in several languages, it appears that they are both from one root, and that the primary sense is to strain, pull, draw; hence sack, a bag, is a tie, that which is tied up or drawn together; and sack, to pillage, is to pull, to strip, that is, to take away by violence. See Class Sg, No. 5, 15, 16, 18, 30, 74, 77, &c.]

To plunder or pillage, as a town or city. Rome was twice taken and sacked in the reign of one pope. This word is never, I believe, applied to the robbing of persons, or pillaging of single houses, but to the pillaging of towns and cities; and as towns are usually or often sacked, when taken by assault, the word may sometimes include the sense of taking by storm. The Romans lay under the apprehension of seeing their city sacked by a barbarous enemy. – Addison.


The act of taking by storm and pillaging. – Roscoe.

SACK'BUT, n. [Sp. sacabuche; the tube or pipe of a pump, and a sackbut; Port. sacabuxa or saquebuxo; Fr. saquebute. The Dutch call it schuif-trompet, the shove-trumpet, the trumpet that may be drawn out or shortened. Sack then is of the same family as the preceding word, signifying to pull or draw. The last syllable is the L. buxus.]

A wind instrument of music; a kind of trumpet, so contrived that it can be lengthened or shortened according to the tone required. – Encyc.

SACK'CLOTH, n. [sack and cloth.]

Cloth of which sacks are made; coarse cloth. This word is chiefly used in Scripture to denote a cloth or garment worn in mourning, distress or mortification. Gird you with sackcloth and mourn before Abner. – 2 Sam. iii. Esth. iv. Job xvi.


Clothed in sackcloth. – Hall.

SACK'ED, pp.

Pillaged; stormed and plundered.


One that takes a town or plunders it.


A full sack or bag. – Swift.


The act of taking by storm and pillaging.

SACK'ING, n.2 [Sax. sæccing, from sæc, sacc.]

  1. Cloth of which sacks or bags are made.
  2. The coarse cloth or canvas fastened to a bedstead for supporting the bed.

SACK'ING, ppr.

Taking by assault and plundering or pillaging.

SACK'LESS, a. [Sax. sacleas, from sac, contention, and leas, less.]

Quiet; peaceable; not quarrelsome; harmless; innocent. [Local.]

SACK-POS'SET, n. [sack and posset.]

A posset made of sack, milk and some other ingredients. – Swift.

SAC'RA-MENT, n. [Fr. sacrement; It. and Sp. sacramento; from L. sacramentum, an oath, from sacer, sacred.]

  1. Among ancient Christian writers, a mystery. [Not in use.]
  2. An oath; a ceremony producing an obligation; but not used in this general sense.
  3. In present usage, an outward and visible sign of inward and spiritual grace; or more particularly, a solemn religious ceremony enjoined by Christ, the head of the Christian church, to be observed by his followers, by which their special relation to him is created, or their obligations to him renewed and ratified. Thus baptism is called a sacrament, for by it persons are separated from the world, brought into Christ's visible church, and laid under particular obligations to obey his precepts. The eucharist or communion of the Lord's supper, is also a sacrament, for by commemorating the death and dying love of Christ, Christians avow their special relation to him, and renew their obligations to be faithful to their divine Master. When we use sacrament without any qualifying word, we mean by it,
  4. The eucharist or Lord's supper. – Addison.


To bind by an oath. [Not used.] – Laud.


Constituting a sacrament or pertaining to it; as, sacramental rites or elements.


That which relates to a sacrament. – Morton.


After the manner of a sacrament. – Hall.


One that differs from the Romish church in regard to the sacraments, or to the Lord's supper; a word an applied by Romanists to Protestants. – Encyc.


Pertaining to sacramentarians and to their controversy respecting the eucharist.


  1. An ancient book of the Romish church, written by Pope Gelasius, and revised, corrected and abridged by St. Gregory, in which were contained all the prayers and ceremonies practiced in the celebration of the sacraments. Encyc.
  2. A sacramentarian; a term of reproach applied by Papists to Protestants. – Stapleton.