buck·​et | \ ˈbə-kət \

Definition of bucket

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a typically cylindrical vessel for catching, holding, or carrying liquids or solids
2 : something resembling a bucket: such as
a : the scoop of an excavating machine
b : one of the receptacles on the rim of a waterwheel
c : one of the cups of an endless-belt conveyor
d : one of the vanes of a turbine rotor
3 : bucketful


bucketed; bucketing; buckets

Definition of bucket (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to draw or lift in buckets

2 British

a : to ride (a horse) hard
b : to drive hurriedly or roughly
3 : to deal with in a bucket shop

intransitive verb

1 : hustle, hurry
2a : to move about haphazardly or irresponsibly
b : to move roughly or jerkily
3 chiefly British, informal : to rain very heavily : pour It doesn't just rain here. It pours; it lashes; it buckets.— Kathleen A. Quinn usually used with down Rain bucketed down for the next two days … .— Thurston Clarke

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Examples of bucket in a Sentence


We used two buckets of paint to paint the living room. made buckets of money in the stock market


bucketing water from the well, we raced to put out the fire getting the troops into the bucketing landing craft proved to be challenging
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Sand lightly, keeping the surface wet at all times, and frequently rinse the sandpaper in the bucket. Joseph Truini, Popular Mechanics, "How to Safely Remove Paint," 25 Jan. 2019 The good news is that pour buckets exist for a reason. Mehera Bonner, Marie Claire, "Your Guide to the Perfect Weekend in California's Secret Wine Country," 8 Jan. 2019 That’s all in the bucket of conventional Republican president, any other Republican president would’ve pursued those goals. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Axios’ Jonathan Swan explains what the press gets wrong about the Trump administration," 6 Dec. 2018 The aquarium said that in the process of putting the shark in the bucket, the group dumped a bleach solution used to disinfect tools into the cold water exhibit filtration system. Samuel Chamberlain, Fox News, "Shark swiped from San Antonio Aquarium in baby stroller; suspect reportedly confesses," 30 July 2018 Given the Hornets’ bench woes last season, primarily a lack of consistent scoring from the second unit, there are worse picks to make that late than a young, raw big man with a knack for getting buckets. Brendan Marks, charlotteobserver, "He was NBA-bound, then 'fell off the face of the earth.' Could Hornets take a chance?," 18 June 2018 Kaleb Wesson, then playing with three fouls was active during the stretch, getting a bucket and-one on a putback before picking up his fourth foul with 16:18 left. Bill Landis, cleveland.com, "Ohio State basketball season ends with 90-84 loss to Gonzaga in NCAA Tournament second round," 18 Mar. 2018 In her trademark blue bucket hat, with a walking stick by her side, Ramos is a wisp of a woman, her hazel eyes sparkling warmly. Richard A. Marini, San Antonio Express-News, "Britain to Bandera: A horsewoman’s journey from uppercrust to working class," 20 Feb. 2018 Leave your beanies and berets at home and shop this winter’s coolest, coziest bucket hats below. Madeline Fass, Vogue, "How to Wear Your Favorite ’90s Trend All Winter Long," 16 Jan. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

But in a storm of Harvey's sheer monstrousness – hundreds of miles across, lingering for days with bucketing rain that swallowed roads and initially kept rescue aircraft grounded – no government response could ever have been enough. Author: Kevin Sullivan, Peter Holley, Alaska Dispatch News, "Texans’ do-it-ourselves rescue effort defines Hurricane Harvey," 3 Sep. 2017 But in a storm of Harvey’s sheer monstrousness — hundreds of miles across, lingering for days with bucketing rain that swallowed roads and initially kept rescue aircraft grounded — no government response could ever have been enough. Kevin Sullivan, Washington Post, "Texans’ do-it-ourselves rescue effort defines Hurricane Harvey," 2 Sep. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bucket.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of bucket


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1640, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for bucket


Middle English, from Anglo-French buket, from Old English būc pitcher, belly; akin to Old High German būh belly

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Learn More about bucket

Statistics for bucket

Last Updated

16 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for bucket

The first known use of bucket was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for bucket



English Language Learners Definition of bucket

: an open container with a handle that is used especially to hold and carry water and other liquids
: the amount contained in a bucket
: a large container that is part of a machine (such as a tractor) and that is used for digging or carrying dirt, rocks, and other material


buck·​et | \ ˈbə-kət \

Kids Definition of bucket

1 : a usually round container with a handle for holding or carrying liquids or solids
2 : a large container that is part of a machine and is used for collecting, scooping, or carrying
3 : bucketful a bucket of water sweating buckets

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More from Merriam-Webster on bucket

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bucket

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bucket

Spanish Central: Translation of bucket

Nglish: Translation of bucket for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bucket for Arabic Speakers

Comments on bucket

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