pock·​et | \ˈpä-kət \

Definition of pocket 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1a : a small bag carried by a person : purse

b : a small bag that is sewed or inserted in a garment so that it is open at the top or side coat pocket

2 : supply of money : means

3 : receptacle, container: such as

a : an opening at the corner or side of a billiard table

b : a superficial pouch in some animals

4 : a small often isolated area or group pockets of unemployment :

a : a cavity containing a deposit (as of gold, water, or gas)

b : air pocket

5 : a place for a batten made by sewing a strip on a sail

6a : blind alley

b : the position of a contestant in a race hemmed in by others

c : an area formed by blockers from which a football quarterback attempts to pass

7 : the concave area at the base of the finger sections of a baseball glove or mitt in which the ball is normally caught

in one's pocket

: in one's control or possession

in pocket

1 : provided with funds

2 : in the position of having made a profit

out of pocket

1 : low on money or funds

2 : having suffered a loss

3 : from cash on hand


pocketed; pocketing; pockets

Definition of pocket (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1a : to put or enclose in or as if in one's pocket pocketed the change

b : to appropriate to one's own use : steal

c : to refuse assent to (a bill) by a pocket veto

2 : to put up with : accept

3 : to set aside : suppress pocketed his pride

4a : to hem in

b : to drive (a ball) into a pocket of a pool table

5 : to cover or supply with pockets



Definition of pocket (Entry 3 of 3)

1a : small enough to be carried in the pocket

b : small, miniature a pocket park

2a : of or relating to money

b : carried in or paid from one's own pocket

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Other Words from pocket


pocketful \ ˈpä-​kət-​ˌfu̇l \ noun


pocketable \ ˈpä-​kə-​tə-​bəl \ adjective

Examples of pocket in a Sentence


He keeps his gloves in his coat pocket. She was standing there with her hands in her pockets. I have a hole in my pocket. Her pocket was full of change. There are pockets on the back of each car seat. The tickets are in the zippered pocket on the front of the suitcase.


The chairman was fired for pocketing funds. The saleswoman had overcharged them and pocketed the difference. a professional golfer who pocketed more than four million dollars in winnings I had to pocket my pride and ask for some help.


his pocket involvement in the company was minimal
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The original Pulse was actually not a band all, but a clip-on tracker the size of a matchbox that could be attached to a belt or pocket. Dami Lee, The Verge, "Withings’ Pulse HR is a fitness tracker with a 20-day battery life," 14 Nov. 2018 The pocket-sized bag weighs less than 5 ounces, produces a machine-quality wash in three minutes, and is twice as effective as hand washing. Megan Barber, Curbed, "The ultimate van life shopping guide," 14 Nov. 2018 Nearly 35 million Americans live in such areas, communities that in most cases have higher poverty and unemployment rates than other U.S. communities or contain or are near pockets in desperate need of development. Bernard Condon, The Seattle Times, "Amazon’s NYC home in ‘opportunity zone’ for Trump tax break," 13 Nov. 2018 The low-slung building on Evans Avenue with the greenhouse roof blends into the surroundings in an uninspiring stretch of Denver, all nondescript retail and pockets of ranch homes. Kevin Dupzyk, Popular Mechanics, "Kimbal Musk Is Reinventing Food One Shipping Container at a Time," 24 Oct. 2018 The combo of high-resilience foam and individually wrapped pocket springs offer a firm, but comfortable surface that knocks me right out at night. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "The HAUGSVÄR IKEA Mattress Gave Me the Best Sleep of My Life," 18 Oct. 2018 Thus, each home features floor-to-ceiling Fleetwood pocket windows that slide open to connect interiors to exterior patios, and mudroom lockers big enough to hold ski boots, skis, skates, and tennis racquets. Kate Betts, ELLE Decor, "A Tour of the Impeccably-Designed Silo Ridge Private Club," 14 Oct. 2018 Because the tree limbs were too big to slip into the curtain's rod pocket, the last step for Nichol was stapling the curtains to the back of the branches. Alyssa Fiorentino, House Beautiful, "This Branch Curtain Rod Is Gorgeous—And Surprisingly Easy To DIY," 9 Oct. 2018 Three crystals were found in Cunningham’s pockets when his body was recovered. Katherine Lam, Fox News, "Missing CDC employee's body found in river weeks after disappearance, police say," 2 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Instead, Freeman said, Peterson pocketed the money and jettisoned the trash from his green pickup at the intersection of Love Lane and Vine Street — the latter being the street Peterson lives on. Matthew Ormseth, Courant Community, "Hartford Police Nab Man Accused of Dumping 20 Bags of Garbage Alongside Road," 26 Apr. 2018 Frost also said many reports of dumping involve a person who was paid to take away trash, but pocketed the money and dumped it somewhere else instead. Devin Kelly, Anchorage Daily News, "Don’t dump your trash on this Anchorage man’s property. He’ll find you.," 24 Apr. 2018 Entrekin personally pockets any money allocated by local, state and federal agencies to feed inmates in the jail that is not used for that purpose. Connor Sheets, AL.com, "Jail kitchen workers say donated, spoiled food keeps costs low for beach house sheriff," 23 Apr. 2018 Lazzara also used the company credit card to buy tickets to Six Flags Great America amusement park in Gurnee, then sold the tickets for cash to Nuveen’s own employees and pocketed the money, the charges alleged. Jason Meisner, chicagotribune.com, "Ex-assistant charged with misusing company credit card to cater son's party, run up $50,000 in expenses," 17 Apr. 2018 Decatur did some of the work himself and pocketed the money, Flaiz said. Evan Macdonald, cleveland.com, "Ex-Geauga County IT director, daughter accused of stealing $1.8 million in public money," 29 Jan. 2018 So what became of the tens of thousands of dollars Rist pocketed from the illicit sales? Franz Lidz, Smithsonian, "The Great Feather Heist," 21 Mar. 2018 Even with just five at-bats in four games in 2015, Dusty Coleman pocketed a World Series ring after a brief stay in the majors. Jeff Sanders, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Talking with ... Padres shortstop Dusty Coleman," 28 July 2017 Employees could use this tax-free money only for the purchase of health insurance, but would pocket any leftover savings as taxable income. Joel Klein, WSJ, "The IRS Can Save American Health Care," 1 July 2018

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


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1588, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1576, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for pocket


Middle English poket, from Anglo-French poket, pochete, diminutive of poke, pouche bag — more at pouch

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Statistics for pocket

Last Updated

20 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pocket

The first known use of pocket was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for pocket



English Language Learners Definition of pocket

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: a usually small cloth bag that is sewn into a piece of clothing, a larger bag, etc., and that is open at the top or side so that you can put things into it

: the amount of money that someone has available to spend

: a small bag or container that is attached to something and used to hold things



English Language Learners Definition of pocket (Entry 2 of 3)

: to put (something) in a pocket

: to take or keep (something that does not belong to you)

: to earn or win (something, such as money)



English Language Learners Definition of pocket (Entry 3 of 3)

: small enough to fit in a pocket

: carried in a pocket


pock·​et | \ˈpä-kət \

Kids Definition of pocket

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a small bag sewn into a piece of clothing for carrying small articles

2 : a place or thing that is different from the larger place or thing that it is part of pockets of poverty

3 : a condition of the air that causes an airplane to drop suddenly an air pocket

4 : a bag at the corner or side of a pool table


pocketed; pocketing

Kids Definition of pocket (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : to put something in a pocket

2 : to keep often dishonestly He was tempted to pocket the profits.



Kids Definition of pocket (Entry 3 of 3)

: pocket-size a pocket dictionary


pock·​et | \ˈpäk-ət \

Medical Definition of pocket 

: a small cavity or space especially : an abnormal cavity formed in diseased tissue a gingival pocket

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Comments on pocket

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


by force of circumstances

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