pock·​et | \ ˈpä-kət How to pronounce pocket (audio) \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from pocket


pocketful \ ˈpä-​kət-​ˌfu̇l How to pronounce pocketful (audio) \ noun


pocketable \ ˈpä-​kə-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce pocketable (audio) \ adjective

Examples of pocket in a Sentence

Noun 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. Verb 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. Adjective his pocket involvement in the company was minimal
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun So one morning in September, 2017, Kevin tucked his birth certificate into his pocket and headed to the law directors’ meeting. Michael K. Mcintyre, cleveland, "Adoptee sent away for birth certificate, stunned by discovery: ‘I think I know him’," 1 Dec. 2019 Take a few photos, but then put your phone in your pocket or your purse for the night. Jackie Pilossoph, chicagotribune.com, "Column: 10 tips for enjoying the holiday party season," 30 Nov. 2019 Whoever shot Ngor had left his Mercedes – as well as $2900 of cash in his jacket and $800 in his pants pocket – behind. Kc Baker, PEOPLE.com, "Was Slaying of Oscar-Winning The Killing Fields Actor a Random Act or a Political Revenge Hit?," 29 Nov. 2019 This holiday season really think about good, affordable gift ideas, that won’t hurt your pockets. Ashley Mcdonough, Essence, "7 Tips To Help You Budget For The Holidays," 26 Nov. 2019 Any money Bloomberg raises and spends on his presidential ambitions will come from one place: His own pocket. Arkansas Online, "Bloomberg vows to refuse donations, presidential salary," 23 Nov. 2019 Police were arresting him and found a bag of suspected marijuana in his pants pocket, the affidavit said. Mara H. Gottfried, Twin Cities, "2 St. Paul men, convicted felons, charged federally after guns found hidden in car," 22 Nov. 2019 Flores is said to have pulled out several clear, plastic baggies from his right-side jacket pocket that contained 7.3 grams of meth, 5.9 grams of ecstasy and 3.26 grams of Xanax. Michelle Iracheta, Houston Chronicle, "Harris County detention officer was paid hundreds to bring inmates narcotics, prosecutors say," 20 Nov. 2019 In many countries, economic growth has created a cohort of young people with money in their pockets and the leisure to spend it. John Ochoa, Billboard, "Spinnin' Records Launches Asia-Centric Label, Spinnin' Records Asia: Exclusive," 19 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb But then employers pocket all or some of the money. Bob Egelko, SFChronicle.com, "Revived suit seeks to pay gratuities to workers at hotels, clubs and banquet rooms," 12 Nov. 2019 The site’s vendor, Bitpay, pocketed the commission and assumed the risks of any currency risk in bitcoin, the virtual currency whose value can fluctuate rapidly. Andrew J. Tobias, cleveland, "Yost: Suspended Ohio bitcoin tax-payment program set up improperly," 5 Nov. 2019 Fernandez and Denizard pocketed or used the remaining money to pay off earlier investors and reward commissions to sales agents. Caroline Glenn, orlandosentinel.com, "Orlando scammers got $31 million from investors who thought cash was going to Pitbull, Kanye West, Jay-Z concerts," 1 Oct. 2019 Brett McQuiston, 34, pocketed at least $30,000 in cash from the series of alleged heists that began in April, according to police and court records. oregonlive, "Oregon bottle drop bandit buys Hummer with stolen loot, police say," 17 Sep. 2019 That’s trouble for an industry that relies on borrowing money at short-term rates, lending it out at long-term rates and pocketing the difference. Stan Choe, BostonGlobe.com, "In trade war, even companies lacking ties to China may face risks," 18 Aug. 2019 Many are employing a strategy known as the carry trade, where an investor borrows in a low-yielding currency to roll the funds into a higher-yielding emerging-market asset, such as local bonds, and pockets the difference. Ira Iosebashvili, WSJ, "Yield-Hungry Investors Revive ‘Carry Trade’ in Emerging Markets," 8 Apr. 2019 Rather help farms offer an adequate increase in wages and working conditions to buoy the American field workers, the government instead passed policies to help outsource field work to foreign laborers who might be happy to pocket any money at all. Nick Martin, The New Republic, "American Farming Runs on Exploitation," 17 Oct. 2019 These governments tend to pocket U.S. concessions and give nothing in return. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, "The America-First Chimera," 10 Oct. 2019

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

Time Traveler for pocket

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for pocket

Last Updated

4 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Pocket.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pockets. Accessed 11 December 2019.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for pocket


How to pronounce pocket (audio)

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 How to pronounce pocket (audio) \

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 How to pronounce pocket (audio) \

Medical Definition of pocket

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on pocket

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pocket

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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).


heavy with or as if with moisture

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Semantic Drift Quiz

  • a twisty river
  • Which of the following was once a synonym for fun?
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!