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

Other Words from pocket


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


pocketable \ ˈpä-​kə-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce pocket (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 Bryce Young not having much time to work with in the pocket. John Talty | Jtalty@al.com, al, 10 Jan. 2022 If used efficiently in the pocket, Vučević can attract double teams and force opponents to sag off their perimeter defense, opening up spray-out 3-point shooting opportunities. Julia Poe, chicagotribune.com, 9 Jan. 2022 Wentz completed just 1 of 7 passes to open the game, struggling to accurately throw the football despite being given ample time in the pocket. Joel A. Erickson, The Indianapolis Star, 2 Jan. 2022 Wentz completed just 1 of 7 passes to open the game, struggling to accurately throw the football despite being given ample time in the pocket. Joel A. Erickson, USA TODAY, 2 Jan. 2022 Quarterback Cade McNamara, who developed happy feet in the pocket as his protection failed, completed 11 of 19 passes for 106 yards and two interceptions. Michael Cohen, Detroit Free Press, 1 Jan. 2022 Tyler is in the pocket lyrically on an album that incorporates elements of hip hop, R&B, jazz, reggae and pop. Troy L. Smith, cleveland, 31 Dec. 2021 When the officer knocked on the front door, the 39-year-old man answered, holding a handgun in the pocket of his hoodie, the statement said. Kolbie Peterson, The Salt Lake Tribune, 29 Dec. 2021 Safety Adrian Phillips acknowledged the defense gave Allen too much time in the pocket. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 29 Dec. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb There is something peculiar about these players who outlast their 10 days of basketball fame, flip their emergency contracts into job security and pocket $1 million. Ben Cohen, WSJ, 5 Jan. 2022 James is not expected to pocket much cash from the deal, instead reinvesting the bulk of the proceeds into the business, a source close to the transaction tells Forbes. Brett Knight, Forbes, 15 Oct. 2021 Instead of sending families the gifts, these websites allegedly pocket the money. Ben Weiss, Wired, 26 Dec. 2021 While other banks were involved in the deals, the sell-side advisers typically pocket the most fees. Liana Baker, Bloomberg.com, 13 Apr. 2021 Red Cross officials counted 101 people on Hamid's boat, whose smugglers stood to pocket $969,000. Arkansas Online, 25 Nov. 2021 Nobel Prize winning economist Robert Shiller developed the CAPE, and at least until recently, the metric proved to be one of the most reliable guides to the returns an investor would pocket five or 10 years hence. Shawn Tully, Fortune, 5 Nov. 2021 Its auction feature lets anyone bid on a position in the queue, and miners pocket a fee from the winner. Declan Harty, Fortune, 24 Sep. 2021 In short, there’s a good chance that Grainge will pocket bonuses from UMG worth over $200 million this year. Tim Ingham, Rolling Stone, 20 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective On its e-commerce site this June, Banana Republic launched the BR Vintage collection: 225 items from the company’s safari-style past, including khaki shirts, lengthy suede jackets and multi-pocket photojournalist vests. Jacob Gallagher, WSJ, 7 Sep. 2021 My favorite and most-used is the Patagonia Baggies Brimmer ($50), which looks like a safari hat and should probably be matched with one of those tan, multi-pocket vests. Jakob Schiller, Outside Online, 1 June 2021 The women’s ready-to-wear blends utilitarian and sporty aesthetics, with multi-pocket skirts, gym sets and transformable jackets all dripping in the new logo. Isabel Lord, Forbes, 13 May 2021

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

Buying Guide

Our team at The Usage has selected the best travel backpacks.

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

Dictionary Entries Near pocket



pocket battleship

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for pocket

Last Updated

14 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Pocket.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pocket. Accessed 19 Jan. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

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 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

More from Merriam-Webster on pocket

Nglish: Translation of pocket for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pocket for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!