\ ˈpāl How to pronounce pail (audio) \

Definition of pail

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

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Other Words from pail

pailful \ ˈpāl-​ˌfu̇l How to pronounce pail (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for pail


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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 In theory, the mouse leaps onto the cover to get the peanut butter and falls into the pail. Margaret Atwood, The New Yorker, 19 Apr. 2021 Margot asked) and everyone who could would catch a frog and bring it with cupped hands to Ruby, who kept them all—unsuccessfully—in a big red pail. Cynthia D'aprix Sweeney, Harper's BAZAAR, 1 Apr. 2021 Remove the liner and wipe the pail out with mild detergent and water. oregonlive, 23 Mar. 2021 Residents who don’t compost at their homes would bring organic waste to a recycling center, where the disposal fee would be $1 per 7-gallon pail, according to the HRRA survey notice. Jesse Leavenworth,, 21 Mar. 2021 But keep an eye out for Travion Brown, who looked like a speedy, rising star last season as a true freshman, and another lunch pail type of 'backer in Dillon Sherman. oregonlive, 4 Nov. 2020 My grandmother in Tokyo kept a pail under her sink. New York Times, 2 Jan. 2021 Other than blood in the immediate two areas of the two homicides and potential blood in the pail in the cellar, there was no mention of blood elsewhere in the case record. Erin Moriarty, CBS News, 26 Dec. 2020 Their work ethic is more lunch pail than lavish expense-account lunch. Los Angeles Times, 5 Dec. 2020

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for pail

Middle English payle, paille

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Time Traveler for pail

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for pail

Last Updated

11 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Pail.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for pail



English Language Learners Definition of pail

chiefly US
: a round container that is open at the top and usually has a handle
: the amount held by a pail


\ ˈpāl How to pronounce pail (audio) \

Kids Definition of pail

1 : a usually round container with a handle : bucket
2 : pailful He poured out a pail of water.

More from Merriam-Webster on pail

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pail

Nglish: Translation of pail for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pail for Arabic Speakers


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