pocket veto


: an indirect veto of a legislative bill by an executive through retention of the bill unsigned until after adjournment of the legislature
pocket veto transitive verb

Examples of pocket veto in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Congress cannot vote to override a pocket veto. Susan Ferrechio, Washington Examiner, 5 Dec. 2020 Lawmakers in his party in January—many of whom quietly wanted to preserve the pocket veto should Republicans reclaim their majority in fall’s election—still stood behind Biden. Philip Elliott, Time, 18 Mar. 2022 Brinkman's amendment would also eliminate the pocket veto. Scott Wartman, The Enquirer, 1 Sep. 2021 One possibility, however unlikely, is that Trump could attempt to kill the bill with a pocket veto, reports Susan Ferrechio, Washington Examiner chief congressional correspondent. Jamie McIntyre, Washington Examiner, 7 Dec. 2020 Whitmer spokeswoman Tiffany Brown confirmed the pocket veto but would not state the reason. Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press, 5 Jan. 2021 Up until the 1990s, the pocket veto was used routinely by presidents, but Congress in recent years has tended to hold pro forma sessions rather than adjourning. Susan Ferrechio, Washington Examiner, 5 Dec. 2020 The silence amounted to a pocket veto of the proposal. Jason Horowitz, New York Times, 12 Feb. 2020 Passed in 1988, the amendment prohibited pocket vetoes of bills by committee chairpersons, instead requiring any bill brought before the Colorado House or Senate to receive a hearing and a vote. Carina Julig, The Denver Post, 22 July 2019 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'pocket veto.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1842, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of pocket veto was in 1842

Dictionary Entries Near pocket veto

Cite this Entry

“Pocket veto.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pocket%20veto. Accessed 29 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

pocket veto

: a veto of a legislative bill by an executive (as the president) accomplished through holding the bill unsigned until after the session of the legislature is over

Legal Definition

pocket veto

pock·​et veto
: a veto of legislation that occurs indirectly when an executive refrains from signing the legislation and the adjournment of the legislature prevents its automatic enactment (as upon expiration of ten days)
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