: a usually cylindrical container with a handle : bucket
a milk pail
: the quantity that a pail contains
a pail of water
pailful noun

Examples of pail in a Sentence

A plastic beach pail was lying on the sand. She poured a pail of water on the campfire.
Recent Examples on the Web About half the room is occupied by tall shelving units, lined with hundreds of large plastic pails. Hannah Goldfield, The New Yorker, 5 Feb. 2024 To receive a kitchen pail to help collect food scraps, visit compost. Anne Gelhaus, The Mercury News, 7 Jan. 2024 With his wife, Kourtney Kardashian, and Rocky spectating from a nearby chair and his daughter Alabama Barker behind the camera, Travis, 48, shoots the diaper like a basketball over and over, attempting to get it in the pail just once. Bailey Richards, Peoplemag, 20 Jan. 2024 The main message of the event is sustainability, with workshops on gardening and composting, where attendees can walk away with free compost kitchen pails as well as fruit and shade trees. Karen Garcia, Los Angeles Times, 1 Nov. 2023 This year, the green pail is a monster, orange is a skeleton and white is a mummy. Erin Clements, Peoplemag, 10 Oct. 2023 Every city neighborhood except Mission Beach received green bins and compost pails between Jan. 11 and Aug. 7. David Garrick, San Diego Union-Tribune, 30 Aug. 2023 Vanilla remains the favorite, at least when consumers buy ice cream by the pail instead of the pint, according to 84.51°, a retail data tracking firm. Mike Snider, USA TODAY, 14 July 2023 In theory, the diaper pail is supposed to help your house smell less horrible while going through the potty training phase. Colby Martin, San Diego Union-Tribune, 30 Apr. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'pail.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English payle, paille

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of pail was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near pail

Cite this Entry

“Pail.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


: a round container that is open at the top and has a handle : bucket
: the quantity held by a pail
fetch a pail of water

More from Merriam-Webster on pail

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