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

Children pluck imaginary coins from the air and drop them in a bucket. Kimberly Fornek, chicagotribune.com, "Lyons Township English teacher also works as Frankie Ace, a magician and comic," 9 July 2018 Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water. Melissa Neeley, Cincinnati.com, "Fireworks may be to blame for sparking garage fire," 8 July 2018 Fred Spencer, 93, poured a shot of Crown Royal whiskey into a bucket of sand in honor of his deceased comrades. CBS News, "Last survivor of World War II unit fulfills its whiskey pact," 3 July 2018 His three-point shot in the waning moments of Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals ranks among the most clutch buckets in league history. Mark Shanahan, BostonGlobe.com, "Pick and role: Kyrie Irving takes his talents to the big screen," 21 June 2018 The suite even includes bags from her favorite store, Bloomingdales, plus monogramed Dorothy Draper cocktail glasses and a vintage Dom Perignon Champagne bucket in the bar. Danielle Tullo, House Beautiful, "You Can Now Vacation in Marilyn Monroe’s Former Home," 31 May 2018 Violet gets an aerial view of what's going on and gets jealous that Paper Boi is mingling with other women, pouring a bucket of water on his head in retaliation. Michael Saponara, Billboard, "'Atlanta' Recap Episode 9: Paper Boi is Ready for a Change," 27 Apr. 2018 Jeff Teague hit the go-ahead bucket in overtime, while Jimmy Butler steadied the ship. Rob Mahoney, SI.com, "The Timberwolves Keep Moving Forward," 26 Apr. 2018 The Spurs certainly put a scare in Golden State, cutting the lead to a bucket in the closing moments. Al Saracevic, San Francisco Chronicle, "Warriors’ Klay Thompson predicts championship effort, then delivers," 25 Apr. 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

12 Oct 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).


one that holds something together

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