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

According to Lana Condor, there could be trouble in hand-in-back-pocket paradise for Peter Kavinsky (Noah Centineo) and Lara Jean Covey. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Lana Condor Said Lara Jean Is Getting a "Major New Love Interest" in the "To All the Boys" Sequel," 8 Jan. 2019 Your hair grows out of little pockets in your skin called follicles. Korin Miller, SELF, "How to Tell If That Bump on Your Bikini Line Is an Ingrown Hair," 7 Jan. 2019 As former Nokia lead designer Marko Ahtisaari used to say, a phone has to be as big as possible when in use and as small as possible when in the pocket — and that requires as close to zero bezels as possible. Vlad Savov, The Verge, "2018 was a weird notch year — what’s next?," 18 Dec. 2018 In the pocket of Rob’s parka my mom had placed her film receipt. Courtney Lund O’neil, Harper's BAZAAR, "A Serial Killer, a Receipt, and My Mom: Haunted by the Murder of 33 Boys," 31 Oct. 2018 Video allegedly showed the suspect rummaging through the pockets of victims. Benjamin Brown, Fox News, "Suspect arrested in brutal bat attacks on homeless men in California," 25 Sep. 2018 After all, a fine paid by Tesla effectively comes out of the pockets of Tesla shareholders, which is a bit of a pointless exercise. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "“A huge outlier”: Musk’s Tesla buyout tweet could get him in legal trouble," 15 Aug. 2018 In a country with pockets of abject poverty, that can have dramatic consequences. The Economist, "Culture and the labour market keep India’s women at home," 5 July 2018 Blessing reported hiding two pistols in the pockets of her robe before confronting her sleeping son, court records show. Nathan J. Fish, azcentral, "Sheriff: MCSO went to 92-year-old woman's home five times before son killed," 5 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Short sellers borrow securities and sell them with plans to repurchase them in the future at lower prices, pocketing the difference. Matt Wirz, WSJ, "Investors Bet $10 Billion Against Popular Bond ETFs," 11 Dec. 2018 Last week, prosecutors accused 91-year-old Ramon Lobo of pocketing some $300,000 that the government had paid soldiers guarding him at a ranch north of the capital. Freddy Cuevas, The Seattle Times, "Former Honduran president criticizes brother’s prosecution," 13 Nov. 2018 Federal prosecutors accused the former sheriff of pocketing kickbacks from the money flow, though a jury deadlocked on some charges and acquitted Green on others. Jeremy Roebuck, Philly.com, "Sheriff sale ads: A bonanza for the politically connected in Philly," 27 Apr. 2018 But after 13 years of pocketing $5 bills, Franklin no longer worries about money. NBC News, "How one woman saved thousands by pocketing $5 bills," 2 Feb. 2018 Prosecutors say Belfort earned at least $9 million in speaking engagements between 2013 and 2015 but pocketed it all. Fortune, "'Wolf of Wall Street' Jordan Belfort Isn't Paying Debts, Prosecutors Say," 16 May 2018 Candidates can’t do the equivalent of pocketing campaign money or using it to pay for personal things like divorce lawyers. Sean Illing, Vox, "Did Rudy Giuliani just get Trump in legal trouble? I asked 11 legal experts.," 3 May 2018 Perhaps the highlight was what’s known as Bottlegate: For several years, Sara Netanyahu pocketed the 8-cent refunds from returning empty wine bottles that the state had purchased. Gregg Carlstrom, Newsweek, "The Fall of Benjamin Netanyahu and the Future of Israel," 15 Mar. 2018 That difference is being pocketed by investors and owners, the research concluded. Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, "Study: Over 20 years, Silicon Valley workers’ median wage has fallen by 14%," 23 Nov. 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

16 Jan 2019

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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More from Merriam-Webster on pocket

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pocket

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pocket

Spanish Central: Translation of pocket

Nglish: Translation of pocket for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pocket for Arabic Speakers

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).


to gather or build up little by little

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