buck·​et | \ ˈbə-kət How to pronounce bucket (audio) \

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


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

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 downRain bucketed down for the next two days …— Thurston Clarke

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Examples of bucket in a Sentence

Noun We used two buckets of paint to paint the living room. made buckets of money in the stock market Verb 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 Wales relies on nearby streams for drinking water and uses honey buckets to dispose of sewage in a lagoon. Author: Jojo Phillips, Anchorage Daily News, "‘Unserviced’: Villages adapt to the coronavirus pandemic without running water or sewage systems," 20 May 2020 Water charging stations and buckets for filling campers until weather improves. Chris Sims, The Indianapolis Star, "Prepare to pay fees at Indiana state parks starting May 15," 15 May 2020 The bucket helps keep critters at bay, and Mountain House guarantees shelf life of foods for 30 years after the date of manufacture. The Editors, Field & Stream, "Three Surprising Ways to Use Freeze-dried Meals," 14 May 2020 More hand-washing stations are needed, Ms. Mahla says, requiring additional soap, water, and buckets. Dina Kraft, The Christian Science Monitor, "For refugees, a plea: You can’t beat a pandemic by leaving people out," 13 May 2020 For the past eight years, Lotuff Leather has been building up a reputation for premium totes, bucket shoulder bags, duffels, and briefcases that are made to last for generations. John Detrixhe, Quartz, "A luxury leather company is using a post-apocalypse art thesis to survive the pandemic," 8 May 2020 Those two hours have sold an average of 250 buckets of popcorn, the theater’s owner told KGW News. oregonlive, "A drive-thru strip club, movie popcorn to go: Oregon businesses get creative during coronavirus," 25 Apr. 2020 Junior forward Justin Smith also had a couple of paint buckets during that stretch, including a putback off of a Green 3-point miss to end the half. Jon Blau, Indianapolis Star, "IU basketball hammers Nebraska in Big Ten tournament," 12 Mar. 2020 Maryland answered with a pair of Cowan buckets, but Kyle Ahrens hit his second 3-pointer of the half to slow the momentum. Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan State basketball gets signature win with 78-66 upset of Maryland," 1 Mar. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb East Boston 34, Boston English 23 — Junior guard Madison Theriault bucketed 18 points for the Jets (4-9). Mike Puzzanghera, BostonGlobe.com, "Sophomore Jaeden Greenleaf scores 1,000th point in Cape Cod Academy’s win over Martha’s Vineyard in boys’ basketball," 30 Jan. 2020 To travelers, Arizona is known for some of the Southwest's most iconic vacation destinations—from sprawling golf and tennis facilities to innovative wellness retreats to bucket-list natural attractions. Chadner Navarro, Fortune, "Arizona’s very first luxury resort—originally opened in 1896—is back in business," 28 Jan. 2020 Senior Zakiirah King put up a team-leading nine points while senior Victoria Davis put up eight and junior Samara Curry bucketed seven. Edith Noriega, azcentral, "Hamilton clinches a win over Mountain Pointe in Hoophall West Tournament," 4 Dec. 2019 Meanwhile, the fashion crowd has been photographed wearing teddy jackets in every color, print, length, and shape; some even raised the stakes with teddy accessories, from bucket bags to bucket hats. Georgina Kim, Glamour, "How to Wear the Teddy Trend This Fall and Winter," 11 Nov. 2019 The age of Mobile Money 2.0 What used to be defined as mobile banking, mobile money, USSD based banking et al, will soon be bucketed into one general descriptor in the age of Mobile Money 2.0. Wiza Jalakasi, Quartz Africa, "After years of rapid growth in Africa we’re about to enter the age of Mobile Money 2.0," 4 Oct. 2019 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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Time Traveler for bucket

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for bucket

Last Updated

24 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Bucket.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bucket. Accessed 24 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for bucket


How to pronounce bucket (audio)

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 How to pronounce bucket (audio) \

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bucket

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bucket

Spanish Central: Translation of bucket

Nglish: Translation of bucket for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bucket for Arabic Speakers

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