out-of-pock·​et | \ ˌau̇t-ə(v)-ˈpä-kət How to pronounce out-of-pocket (audio) \

Definition of out-of-pocket

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: requiring an outlay of cash out-of-pocket expenses

out of pocket


Definition of out of pocket (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : from cash on hand : with one's own money rather than with money from another source (such as an insurance company) With so many people willing to pay out of pocket most insurance companies do not pay for the procedure, because they regard it as "cosmetic" …— Kenneth Chang
2 chiefly British
a : in the position of having lost money On Oct. 7, the government suddenly pulled the plug on Railtrack PLC, the privatized owner of Britain's railway infrastructure, leaving the company's 250,000 shareholders out of pocket.— Kerry Capell
b : out of funds : without money My wife and I are already consumers of Straus's organic yogurt, butter, cream and ice cream, although I admit when I am feeling out of pocket I opt for a slightly cheaper competitor.— Larry Gallagher

Examples of out-of-pocket in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb The man reportedly agreed to pay for repairs out of pocket and no charges were filed. Brian Lisik, cleveland, 15 Nov. 2021 Instead, patients who have pain, discomfort, or who have serious illnesses pay up to $25,000 out of pocket to receive experimental therapies that can have serious unpredicted risks. William A. Haseltine, Forbes, 13 Nov. 2021 Singapore uses a financing system (medical savings accounts) that under normal circumstances requires people to pay out of pocket for their own care so in some ways this is mainly defaulting back to old system. Grady Mcgregor, Fortune, 9 Nov. 2021 At the time, people's lack of awareness and interest in Juneteenth challenged James’ and Twjonia’s efforts to raise money during the first two years, which the couple said were financed totally out of pocket. Brandon Drenon, The Indianapolis Star, 18 June 2021 But thanks to routine indemnification practices, police officers, along with other government workers, rarely have to pay out of pocket, even when they are found liable. Nick Sibilla, Forbes, 28 Oct. 2021 That’s worth nearly $30,000 at current prices, or $7,444 a year, for students who would otherwise pay out of pocket. Nanette Asimov, San Francisco Chronicle, 18 Oct. 2021 But about one in six people will pay more than $100,000 out of pocket. Jennifer Chesak, Health.com, 22 Sep. 2021 And those in the most difficult caregiving situations or who face high levels of stress at work often spend the most out of pocket. Howard Gleckman, Forbes, 1 Oct. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'out-of-pocket.' 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 out-of-pocket


1885, in the meaning defined above


1679, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

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Time Traveler for out-of-pocket

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The first known use of out-of-pocket was in 1679

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Dictionary Entries Near out-of-pocket

out of order


out of pocket

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Cite this Entry

“Out-of-pocket.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/out-of-pocket. Accessed 29 Nov. 2021.

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More Definitions for out-of-pocket



English Language Learners Definition of out-of-pocket

: paid for with your own money rather than with money from another source (such as the company you work for or an insurance company)



Legal Definition of out-of-pocket

: requiring an outlay of cash out-of-pocket expenses


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