\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from pail

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

Synonyms for pail


Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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 The next day, Foreman’s father rigged an electric light on an adjacent pole so he could be seen at night by the burgeoning crowds, many of whom left donations in a pail at the foot of the pole. Mike Klingaman,, "Baltimore made international headlines for this bizarre sport that started on a dare," 12 Nov. 2020 Bang-bang-bang of the garbage pail, Cora parlayed his role in Houston into one of the elite jobs in sports, winning a World Series and becoming a Boston hero in his first year as manager. Mike Anthony,, "Mike Anthony: Alex Cora returns as Red Sox manager as the face of a recent championship, ensuing embarrassment and an upcoming rebuilding project," 7 Nov. 2020 Wear rubber gloves to mix the ingredients in a pail or other large open container. René A. Guzman,, "Striped skunks: these little stinkers also help keep pests under control around San Antonio homes and are sweet and docile," 27 Oct. 2020 The scents are subtle and lovely, perfect for masking diaper pail aroma. Lindsey Hunter Lopez, USA TODAY, "25 useful gifts new parents actually want," 19 Oct. 2020 Housekeeping staff members clean tables periodically, but with only a pail of water and a towel. NBC News, "'We don't have a choice': Amazon Ring call center workers in Philippines 'scared' to go to work during pandemic," 15 Oct. 2020 The new rules also say each kid in a sandbox must have his or her own shovel and pail. Steve Rubenstein,, "6 feet apart in the sandbox: Playgrounds open again in S.F.," 14 Oct. 2020 True to form, Amazon is also stocked with baby changing essentials, from a convenient baby-wipe holder and odor-locking diaper pail for Mom and Dad, and a training and transition potty for growing toddlers. Kelsey Clark, Glamour, "The 16 Best Amazon Prime Day Baby Deals of 2020," 13 Oct. 2020 There was a blue watering pail, a lock of hair with a blue tie, and a blue heart that transformed into a blue butterfly. Ariana Brockington,, "The Masked Singer’s Sun May Have Posted A Giant Spoiler By Accident," 7 Oct. 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.

See More

First Known Use of pail

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for pail

Middle English payle, paille

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about pail

Time Traveler for pail

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for pail

Last Updated

18 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Pail.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Nov. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for pail


How to pronounce pail (audio)

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.

Keep scrolling for more

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

A Thanksgiving Word Quiz

  • a traditional thanksgiving dinner
  • November comes from a word for which of the following numbers?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!