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

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

If the out-of-pocket cost for people with commercial plans is more than $300, Genomind will contact the client before processing the test. Courtenay Harris Bond, Philly.com, "Which antidepressant is right for you? This genetic test could help," 11 July 2018 And their preference is understandable: Out-of-pocket health-care costs are rising for virtually everyone in the United States. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "How Democrats Plan to Turn Kennedy’s Retirement Into a Political Win," 3 July 2018 Leaning against the tailgate, and with a reporter’s notepad in his back pocket, Cook was typing updates on his cellphone. Tim Prudente, baltimoresun.com, "'I don't know what else to do': Grieving Capital Gazette journalists cover the massacre of their own newsroom," 29 June 2018 In stage right, Murray, whom George directed in The Monuments Men, slipped on his reading glasses, pulled some notecards out of his suit pocket, and began studying them while rocking back and forth on his heels. Rebecca Keegan, HWD, "Exclusive: Here’s What It Was Like Backstage at George Clooney’s A.F.I. Tribute," 20 June 2018 The more pressing hit to her pocketbook, however, was the result of a serious autoimmune illness that necessitated eight surgeries over a six-year period, an out-of-pocket cost of $240,000. Rick Paulas, Longreads, "Sex Workers vs. The Internet," 15 June 2018 Last October, the president unilaterally ended a significant part of the law that cushions insurers financially from an obligation to give discounts to decrease out-of-pocket costs to lower-income customers with ACA coverage. Author: Amy Goldstein, Anchorage Daily News, "Trump administration won't defend ACA in case brought by GOP states," 8 June 2018 Beneficiaries might see higher out-of-pocket costs if drugs are moved from one part of Medicare to another. Robert Pear, The Seattle Times, "Trump proposal for Medicare drugs could raise costs for sickest patients," 2 June 2018 After calming the situation, the referee reached for his back pocket and produced a red card. SI.com, "World Cup Countdown: 3 Weeks to Go - Rooney, Ronaldo and the English Need for a Scapegoat in 2006," 1 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The Times reported that on occasion for breakfast, prisoners were served a slice of toast, a partial egg, and a few spoonfuls of grits, while the sheriff pocketed more than $200,000. Kaylen Ralph, Teen Vogue, "Alabama Sheriffs Might Not Be Able to Pocket Leftover Prisoner Food Funding Anymore," 12 July 2018 From news of a Vogue staffer pocketing over $52,000 of an editor’s money to the all-lady extension of the Ocean’s movie franchise, there is something fascinating about hearing of people, particularly women, enacting crazy schemes to pull a profit. refinery29.com, "Grifting Is Totally Having A Moment & Shonda Rhimes Wants In," 9 June 2018 By February 2014 ministers accused of pocketing tens of millions of dollars in a scheme to help Iran evade U.S. sanctions were casting votes in Parliament to give themselves more control over the judiciary. Bloomberg.com, "Bloomberg," 18 May 2018 Silver's defense lawyer, Michael Feldberg, says there's no proof that Silver pocketed the money in exchange for taking official action. Fox News, "Closing arguments to begin in trial of ex-Assembly leader," 11 May 2018 New residents are flocking from high-cost states such as California, Washington and Colorado, having sold pricey houses and pocketed big profits. Maria L. La Ganga, idahostatesman, "Desperate buyers offer more than sellers ask, but still lose as Boise’s home prices skyrocket | Idaho Statesman," 16 Apr. 2018 As if things couldn't get worse for Brian Kischnick, the embattled ex-city manager of Troy was hit with federal bribery charges Friday, accused of pocketing nearly $21,000 from a contractor seeking favors. Tresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press, "Ex-Troy city manager Kischnick in trouble again; faces bribery charges," 6 July 2018 But instead of pocketing his earnings — an impressive $5,860 in just two hours — Andrew had a different plan in mind, according to The Index-Journal. Caitlin Keating, PEOPLE.com, "9-Year-Old Boy Raises Thousands at Lemonade Stand to Help Pay for Sick Brother's Medical Bills," 29 May 2018 During an extensive investigation, wardens determined the ranch manager had been selling trophy hunts to out of state clients, pocketing their money, and falsifying the ranch harvest records. Houston Chronicle, "Game warden field notes," 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about pocket

Statistics for pocket

Last Updated

11 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pocket

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


occurring twice a year or every two years

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!