\ˈpāl \

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 \ -​ˌfu̇l \ 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

Cesta Collective’s fun checkerboard piece comes in the silhouette of a cheerful lunch pail, while Boyy’s mixed media bag is a festive melange of raffia, leather, and PVC. Madeline Fass, Vogue, "The Best Street Style–Approved Bags for Fall and Beyond," 27 Aug. 2018 Once inside the new space, visitors will find: Backyard Explore, including an open field perfect for unstructured play and picnics as well as a digging area complete with shovels and pails. Deborah Martin, San Antonio Express-News, "S.A. Botanical Garden opening new all-ages play area," 26 Feb. 2018 On Sunday night, after the Cavaliers lost to the Warriors, 122-103, in the second game of the best-of-seven series, James sat silently at his locker at Oracle Arena here with his feet in a blue pail of ice water. Scott Cacciola, New York Times, "LeBron James: The Strange Thrill of a One-Man Show," 6 June 2018 His late arrival may have been glitzy, but the defensive end brought his lunch pail to the field and was toasting right tackle Winston Justice after just a few practices. Jeff Mclane,, "Winning another Super Bowl is why Eagles' Brandon Graham is willing to play out his contract | Jeff McLane," 9 June 2018 Turnquist stressed safety when using fireworks, and recommended that used fireworks be placed in pails or bins of water before throwing them away. Marc Daalder, Detroit Free Press, "Fireworks left in trash set West Bloomfield house ablaze," 5 July 2018 Prizes include bike helmets, summer fun pails, a soccer ball, swim lesson sessions, New Britain Bees tickets and more. Courant Community, "Community News For The Wethersfield Edition," 12 June 2018 They had been equipped with sand pails and shovels, goggles and life jackets—all donated by an anti-poverty organization that had organized the trip. Amy Crawford, Smithsonian, "Racism Kept Connecticut’s Beaches White Up Through the 1970s," 2 July 2018 His daughter-in-law Roni Detrick, 61, now runs his you-pick operation, where customers can rest in the shade of an ancient oak after a few hours of thumbing clusters of old-fashioned sweet Walcotts into a pail. Rachel Wharton, New York Times, "In the Shadow of the Blueberry Titans, Smaller Growers Thrive," 2 July 2018

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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Statistics for pail

Last Updated

13 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pail

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

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More Definitions for pail



English Language Learners Definition of pail

: a round container that is open at the top and usually has a handle

: the amount held by a pail


\ˈpāl \

Kids Definition of pail

1 : a usually round container with a handle : bucket

2 : pailful He poured out a pail of water.

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Comments on pail

What made you want to look up pail? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


playful or foolish behavior

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