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 teachers who really care are committed to paying out of pocket to provide more robust learning environments for their students. Laura Klairmont, CNN, 15 Sep. 2022 Over six months, treatment can cost as much as $10,000 for someone paying out of pocket. Matt Richtel, BostonGlobe.com, 27 Aug. 2022 Teachers should not have to pay out of pocket for paper, books, pencils, and everything else students need to learn. Michelle Singletary, Washington Post, 12 Aug. 2022 Those who do must pay their expenses out of pocket, Cisneros said. Alex Horton And Rachel Roubein, Anchorage Daily News, 30 July 2022 Most patients pay out of pocket, research has found, in large part because their insurance doesn’t cover the procedure. New York Times, 12 July 2022 But Planned Parenthood objected, saying that doing so might impede access by forcing people to pay out of pocket. Kate Kelly, BostonGlobe.com, 11 July 2022 The bridge program is only estimated to cost the county $5 million out of pocket, since the loans will be paid back with property tax collections. Chicago Tribune, 7 July 2022 This is clearly a slam dunk for people like Venessa who pay out of pocket. Michael Taylor, San Antonio Express-News, 6 July 2022 See More

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.

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 30 Sep. 2022.

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Legal Definition of out-of-pocket

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


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