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[pok-it] /ˈpɒk ɪt/
a shaped piece of fabric attached inside or outside a garment and forming a pouch used especially for carrying small articles.
a bag or pouch.
means; financial resources:
a selection of gifts to fit every pocket.
any pouchlike receptacle, compartment, hollow, or cavity.
an envelope, receptacle, etc., usually of heavy paper and open at one end, used for storing or preserving photographs, stamps, phonograph records, etc.:
Each album has 12 pockets.
a recess, as in a wall, for receiving a sliding door, sash weights, etc.
any isolated group, area, element, etc., contrasted, as in status or condition, with a surrounding element or group:
pockets of resistance; a pocket of poverty in the central city.
  1. a small orebody or mass of ore, frequently isolated.
  2. a bin for ore or rock storage.
  3. a raise or small slope fitted with chute gates.
Billiards, Pool. any of the pouches or bags at the corners and sides of the table.
a position in which a competitor in a race is so hemmed in by others that his or her progress is impeded.
Football. the area from which a quarterback throws a pass, usually a short distance behind the line of scrimmage and protected by a wall of blockers.
Bowling. the space between the headpin and the pin next behind to the left or right, taken as the target for a strike.
Baseball. the deepest part of a mitt or glove, roughly in the area around the center of the palm, where most balls are caught.
Nautical. a holder consisting of a strip of sailcloth sewed to a sail, and containing a thin wooden batten that stiffens the leech of the sail.
Anatomy. any saclike cavity in the body:
a pus pocket.
an English unit of weight for hops equivalent to 168 pounds (76.4 kg).
small enough or suitable for carrying in the pocket:
a pocket watch.
relatively small; smaller than usual:
a pocket war; a pocket country.
verb (used with object)
to put into one's pocket:
to pocket one's keys.
to take possession of as one's own, often dishonestly:
to pocket public funds.
to submit to or endure without protest or open resentment:
to pocket an insult.
to conceal or suppress:
to pocket one's pride.
to enclose or confine in or as if in a pocket:
The town was pocketed in a small valley.
Billiards, Pool. to drive (a ball) into a pocket.
to hem in (a contestant) so as to impede progress, as in racing.
in one's pocket, in one's possession; under one's influence:
He has the audience in his pocket.
line one's pockets, to profit, especially at the expense of others:
While millions were fighting and dying, the profiteers were lining their pockets.
out of pocket,
  1. having suffered a financial loss; poorer:
    He had made unwise land purchases, and found himself several thousand dollars out of pocket.
  2. lacking money.
  3. Informal. not available; unreachable:
    I'll be out of pocket all afternoon.
Origin of pocket
1250-1300; Middle English poket < Old North French (Picard) poquet (Old French pochet, pochette), diminutive of poque < Middle Dutch poke poke2; see -et
Related forms
pocketless, adjective
pocketlike, adjective
unpocket, verb (used with object)
21. steal, pilfer, appropriate, filch. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for pocket
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • She had put it conveniently in her pocket, so that she could place her hand on it at once.

    Rico and Wiseli Johanna Spyri
  • Jim put the bit of paper into his pocket and gave Pen the picture.

    Still Jim Honor Willsie Morrow
  • "I have got a sharper knife," said he, drawing his penknife out of his pocket.

    The Teacher Jacob Abbott
  • I have directions in my pocket which agree with everything but your unkindness.

  • He picked it up, folded it carefully and slipped it in his pocket.

    The Green Rust Edgar Wallace
British Dictionary definitions for pocket


a small bag or pouch in a garment for carrying small articles, money, etc
any bag or pouch or anything resembling this
  1. a cavity or hollow in the earth, etc, such as one containing gold or other ore
  2. the ore in such a place
a small enclosed or isolated area: a pocket of resistance
(billiards, snooker) any of the six holes with pouches or nets let into the corners and sides of a billiard table
a position in a race in which a competitor is hemmed in
(Australian rules football) a player in one of two side positions at the ends of the ground: back pocket, forward pocket
(South African) a bag or sack of vegetables or fruit
in one's pocket, under one's control
in pocket, having made a profit, as after a transaction
(rugby) in the pocket, (of a fly half) in an attacking position slightly further back from play than normal, making himself available for a drop goal attempt
out of pocket, having made a loss, as after a transaction
line one's pockets, to make money, esp by dishonesty when in a position of trust
(modifier) suitable for fitting in a pocket; small: a pocket edition
(modifier) (poker, slang) denoting a pair formed from the two private cards dealt to a player in a game of Texas hold 'em: pocket queens
verb (transitive) -ets, -eting, -eted
to put into one's pocket
to take surreptitiously or unlawfully; steal
(usually passive) to enclose or confine in or as if in a pocket
to receive (an insult, injury, etc) without retaliating
to conceal or keep back (feelings): he pocketed his pride and accepted help
(billiards, snooker) to drive (a ball) into a pocket
(US) (esp of the President) to retain (a bill) without acting on it in order to prevent it from becoming law See also pocket veto
to hem in (an opponent), as in racing
Derived Forms
pocketable, adjective
pocketless, adjective
Word Origin
C15: from Anglo-Norman poket a little bag, from poque bag, from Middle Dutch pokepoke², bag; related to French poche pocket
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for pocket

mid-14c., pokete, "bag, pouch, small sack," from Anglo-French pokete (13c.), diminutive of Old North French poque "bag" (Old French pouche), from a Germanic source akin to Frankish *pokka "bag," from Proto-Germanic *puk- (see poke (n.)).

Meaning "small bag worn on the person, especially one sewn into a garment" is from early 15c. Sense in billiards is from 1754. Mining sense is attested from 1850; military sense of "area held by troops surrounded by the enemy" is from 1918; the general sense of "small area different than its surroundings" (1926) apparently was extended from the military use. Figuratively, "one's money" (conceived as being kept in a pocket) is from 1717. Pope Pokett (late 15c.) was figurative of the greedy and corrupt Church.


1580s, "to place in a pocket" (often with implications of dishonesty), from pocket (n.). From the earliest use often figurative. Meaning "to form pockets" is from c.1600. Related: Pocketed; pocketing.


1610s, "of or pertaining to or meant for a pocket," from pocket (n.). Pocket-knife is first recorded 1727; pocket-money is attested from 1630s. Often merely implying a small-sized version of something, e.g. of warships, from 1930, and cf. Pocket Venus "beautiful, small woman," attested from 1808. Pocket veto attested from 1842, American English.

The "pocket veto" can operate only in the case of bills sent to the President within ten days of Congressional adjournment. If he retain such a bill (figuratively, in his pocket) neither giving it his sanction by signing it, nor withholding his sanction in returning it to Congress, the bill is defeated. The President is not bound to give reasons for defeating a bill by a pocket veto which he has not had at least ten days to consider. In a regular veto he is bound to give such reasons. [James Albert Woodburn, "The American Republic and its Government," Putnam's, 1903]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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pocket in Medicine

pocket pock·et (pŏk'ĭt)

  1. In anatomy, a cul-de-sac or pouchlike cavity.

  2. A diseased space between the inflamed gum and the surface of a tooth.

  3. A collection of pus in a nearly closed sac.

v. pock·et·ed, pock·et·ing, pock·ets
  1. To enclose within a confined space.

  2. To approach the surface at a localized spot, as with the thinned out wall of an abscess which is about to rupture.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Slang definitions & phrases for pocket
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with pocket
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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