from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A container of flexible material, such as paper, plastic, or leather, that is used for carrying or storing items.
  • noun A handbag; a purse.
  • noun A piece of hand luggage, such as a suitcase or satchel.
  • noun A pouchlike or sagging organ or part of the body, such as a cow's udder.
  • noun An object that resembles a pouch.
  • noun Nautical The sagging or bulging part of a sail.
  • noun The amount that a bag can hold.
  • noun An amount of game taken or legally permitted to be taken.
  • noun Baseball A base.
  • noun Slang An area of interest or skill.
  • noun Slang A woman considered ugly or unkempt.
  • intransitive verb To put into a bag.
  • intransitive verb To cause to bulge like a pouch.
  • intransitive verb To capture or kill as game.
  • intransitive verb To gain; acquire.
  • intransitive verb To capture or arrest.
  • intransitive verb To accomplish or achieve.
  • intransitive verb To fail to attend purposely; skip.
  • intransitive verb To stop doing or considering; abandon.
  • intransitive verb To terminate the employment of.
  • intransitive verb To pack items in a bag.
  • intransitive verb To hang loosely.
  • intransitive verb To swell out; bulge.
  • idiom (bag and baggage) With all one's belongings.
  • idiom (bag and baggage) To a complete degree; entirely.
  • idiom (bag it) To cease participating in an activity.
  • idiom (bag it) To bring along one's lunch, as in a paper bag.
  • idiom (in the bag) Assured of a successful outcome; virtually accomplished or won.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In base-ball, a base-bag.
  • noun A swelling on a boiler-plate.
  • noun In leather manufacturing, fullness in the middle of a skin, which prevents it from lying out flat and smooth. It is more marked in large skins.
  • To swell or bulge.
  • To hang loosely like a bag.
  • To grow big with child.
  • To put into a bag: as, to bag hops.
  • To distend like a bag; swell.
  • To secure as game; shoot, entrap, or otherwise lay hold of: as, to bag thirty brace of grouse.
  • To make off with; steal.
  • noun A small sack; a portable receptacle or repository of leather, cloth, paper, or other flexible material, capable of being closed at the mouth; a wallet; a pouch: as, a flour-bag; a carpet-bag or traveling-bag; a mail-bag. Specifically
  • noun A purse or money-bag.
  • noun A small silken pouch in which the back hair of the wig was curled away.
  • noun What is contained in a bag; in hunting, the animals bagged or obtained in an expedition or a day's sport.
  • noun A sac or receptacle in animal bodies containing some fluid or other substance: as, the honey-bag of a bee.
  • noun An udder.
  • noun plural The stomach.
  • noun plural Trousers.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English bagge, from Old Norse baggi.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English bagge, from Old Norse baggi ("bag, pack, satchel, bundle"), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰak- (compare Welsh baich ("load, bundle"), Ancient Greek βάσταγμα (bástagma, "load").


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word bag.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Gab in reverse.

    November 3, 2007

  • "She must have had something going for her; she bagged Marilyn Manson."

    "If they brought you Marilyn Manson in a bag, would you actually want to bag Marilyn Manson?"

    November 21, 2007

  • Used in hippy talk, eg. "What's your bag?" meaning "What sort of things do you do/like?"

    April 3, 2008

  • 3-letter code for the airport in Baguio, Philippines.

    August 27, 2009

  • Compare etymology of budget.

    May 1, 2024