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

Dust off your collection of vintage Champagne buckets. Madeleine Luckel, Vogue, "A Champagne Lover’s Guide to Hosting a Last-Minute Bastille Day Soirée," 13 July 2018 Each bucket has different levels of access to the network and CPU. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, "Talkin’ Treble: How Android engineers are winning the war on fragmentation," 8 June 2018 It was found hiding under a bucket in a family's living room. The Washington Post, OregonLive.com, "Snake slithers out of car's air vent as Virginia woman is driving," 6 June 2018 That means more LeBron James magic, Splash Brothers making buckets, Kevin Durant looking for a second straight ring, and Draymond Green antics. Charles Curtis, For The Win, "The Block and The Crotch Punch: The 9 most memorable Cavaliers-Warriors moments," 31 May 2018 This video shows the adorable animals playing with buckets of ice as enrichment or taking a swim to cool off. Taylor Jade Powell, Cincinnati.com, "3 headlines: Cincy's most expensive home, Chucky the groundhog and zoo animals keep cool," 3 July 2018 Residents of Shimla had to wait nearly four days to get water, with many lining up with buckets to collect water from tankers. Kamakshi Ayyar, Time, "The Global Water Crisis: Why Are India’s Taps Running Dry?," 6 June 2018 Others kept small crops alive with buckets of water hauled down from a spigot at the top of the hill. Joe Mozingo, latimes.com, "One of L.A.'s oldest community gardens thrived for decades. Then the water wars began.," 4 June 2018 Since 529 plans are filled with dollars specifically set aside for college — and the savings, gains and withdrawals have no tax consequences — this is the next bucket of money to pull from, personal finance pros say. Adam Shell, USA TODAY, "Paying for college: Tips on tapping your kids' college savings without taking a financial hit," 31 May 2018

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

Phrases Related to bucket

bucket down

Statistics for bucket

Last Updated

14 Sep 2018

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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Comments on bucket

What made you want to look up bucket? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a magnificent or impressive array

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