- a deep, cylindrical vessel, usually of metal, plastic, or wood, with a flat bottom and a semicircular bail, for collecting, carrying, or holding water, sand, fruit, etc.; pail.
- anything resembling or suggesting this.
- any of the scoops attached to or forming the endless chain in certain types of conveyors or elevators.
- the scoop or clamshell of a steam shovel, power shovel, or dredge.
- a vane or blade of a waterwheel, paddle wheel, water turbine, or the like.
- (in a dam) a concave surface at the foot of a spillway for deflecting the downward flow of water.
- a bucketful: a bucket of sand.
- Informal.field goal.
- the part of the keyhole extending from the foul line to the end line.
- bucket seat.
- Bowling. a leave of the two, four, five, and eight pins, or the three, five, six, and nine pins.
- to lift, carry, or handle in a bucket (often followed by up or out).
- Chiefly British. to ride (a horse) fast and without concern for tiring it.
- to handle (orders, transactions, etc.) in or as if in a bucket shop.
- Informal. to move or drive fast; hurry.
- drop in the bucket, a small, usually inadequate amount in relation to what is needed or requested: The grant for research was just a drop in the bucket.
- drop the bucket on, Australian Slang. to implicate, incriminate, or expose.
- kick the bucket, Slang. to die: His children were greedily waiting for him to kick the bucket.
Origin of bucket
Regional variation note
Examples from the Web for bucket
An 18-year-old Swedish rapper/Internet meme has inspired legions of impressionable teens to get based in bucket hats.The Cult of Yung Lean: ‘I’m Building An Anarchistic Society From the Ground Up’
January 4, 2015
Early one morning I was passing out hot water, when a man showed me a bucket of blood from his slashed wrists and asked for help.A Million Ways to Die in Prison
December 8, 2014
Her solution: a bucket list of influential people and places to visit and photograph.Annie Leibovitz Talks About ‘Pilgrimage,’ Susan Sontag, Vogue & More
November 20, 2014
It was on a hike to the Grand Canyon at age 18 that Shattuck penned her first bucket list.From Baltimore Ravens Cheerleader to Mrs. Robinson
November 6, 2014
On the verge of turning 60 this December, Lennox still has a few items to cross off her bucket list.Annie Lennox Doesn’t Give a Damn What You Think
October 21, 2014
The bucket is perforated at the bottom, and being elevated, the oil drains off.The Story of the Invention of Steel Pens
The men were drinking out of a bucket that flashed in the sun.K
Mary Roberts Rinehart
Then she picked one of the knives from the bucket and handed it to him.
Presently she filled a cup from the bucket beside her and handed it to Donald.
They still carry the bucket and the pole, hoping yet dreading to meet their parents.Classic Myths
Mary Catherine Judd
- an open-topped roughly cylindrical container; pail
- Also called: bucketful the amount a bucket will hold
- any of various bucket-like parts of a machine, such as the scoop on a mechanical shovel
- a cupped blade or bucket-like compartment on the outer circumference of a water wheel, paddle wheel, etc
- computing a unit of storage on a direct-access device from which data can be retrieved
- mainly US a turbine rotor blade
- Australian and NZ an ice cream container
- kick the bucket slang to die
- (tr) to carry in or put into a bucket
- (intr often foll by down) (of rain) to fall very heavilyit bucketed all day
- (intr often foll by along) mainly British to travel or drive fast
- (tr) mainly British to ride (a horse) hard without consideration
- (tr) Australian slang to criticize severely
Word Origin and History for bucket
mid-13c., from Anglo-French buquet "bucket, pail," from Old French buquet "bucket," which is from a Germanic source, or a diminutive of cognate Old English buc "pitcher, bulging vessel," originally "belly" (buckets were formerly of leather as well as wood), both from West Germanic *buh- (cf. Dutch buik, Old High German buh, German Bauch "belly"), from PIE *bhou-, variant of root *bheu- "to grow, swell" (see be).
Kick the bucket "to die" (1785) perhaps is from unrelated Old French buquet "balance," a beam from which slaughtered animals were hung; perhaps reinforced by the notion of suicide by hanging after standing on an upturned bucket (but Farmer calls attention to bucket "a Norfolk term for a pulley").
Idioms and Phrases with bucket
see drop in the bucket; kick the bucket; rain cats and dogs (buckets); weep buckets.