View synonyms for bucket


[ buhk-it ]


  1. 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.
  2. anything resembling or suggesting this.
  3. Machinery.
    1. any of the scoops attached to or forming the endless chain in certain types of conveyors or elevators.
    2. the scoop or clamshell of a steam shovel, power shovel, or dredge.
    3. a vane or blade of a waterwheel, paddle wheel, water turbine, or the like.
  4. (in a dam) a concave surface at the foot of a spillway for deflecting the downward flow of water.
  5. a bucketful:

    a bucket of sand.

  6. Basketball.
    1. Informal. field goal.
    2. the part of the keyhole extending from the foul line to the end line.
  7. Bowling. a leave of the two, four, five, and eight pins, or the three, five, six, and nine pins.

verb (used with object)

, buck·et·ed, buck·et·ing.
  1. to lift, carry, or handle in a bucket (often followed by up or out ).
  2. Chiefly British. to ride (a horse) fast and without concern for tiring it.
  3. to handle (orders, transactions, etc.) in or as if in a bucket shop.

verb (used without object)

, buck·et·ed, buck·et·ing.
  1. Informal. to move or drive fast; hurry.


/ ˈbʌkɪt /


  1. an open-topped roughly cylindrical container; pail
  2. Also calledbucketful the amount a bucket will hold
  3. any of various bucket-like parts of a machine, such as the scoop on a mechanical shovel
  4. a cupped blade or bucket-like compartment on the outer circumference of a water wheel, paddle wheel, etc
  5. computing a unit of storage on a direct-access device from which data can be retrieved
  6. a turbine rotor blade
  7. an ice cream container
  8. kick the bucket slang.
    to die


  1. tr to carry in or put into a bucket
  2. introften foll bydown (of rain) to fall very heavily

    it bucketed all day

  3. introften foll byalong to travel or drive fast
  4. tr to ride (a horse) hard without consideration
  5. slang.
    tr to criticize severely

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Word History and Origins

Origin of bucket1

1250–1300; Middle English buket < Anglo-French < Old English bucc (variant of būc vessel, belly; cognate with German Bauch ) + Old French -et -et

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Word History and Origins

Origin of bucket1

C13: from Anglo-French buket , from Old English būc ; compare Old High German būh belly, German Bauch belly

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Idioms and Phrases

  1. 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.

  2. drop the bucket on, Australian Slang. to implicate, incriminate, or expose.
  3. kick the bucket, Slang. to die:

    His children were greedily waiting for him to kick the bucket.

More idioms and phrases containing bucket

see drop in the bucket ; kick the bucket ; rain cats and dogs (buckets) ; weep buckets .

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Example Sentences

While McInnes’ chopper carries its water in a bucket, that’s not the only way to do it.

Kobe and Shaq butted heads, did their own things, got buckets and won three rings.

These are in the low-touch, high-growth bucket which is a good thing for us.

From Digiday

A centrifuge simulates gravity through centri­fugal force — the effect that keeps water in the bottom of a bucket when you swing it over your head.

Another problem in this third bucket — it’s a big bucket — is when the person who designed the intervention and masterminded the initial trial can no longer be so involved once the program scales up to multiple locations.

An 18-year-old Swedish rapper/Internet meme has inspired legions of impressionable teens to get based in bucket hats.

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.

Her solution: a bucket list of influential people and places to visit and photograph.

Somehow, their message has gone from lunch-bucket concerns to a date with Girls.

It was on a hike to the Grand Canyon at age 18 that Shattuck penned her first bucket list.

A fellow was dropt down in the bucket, and soon bawled out from the bottom, "I have found the punch-ladle, so wind me up."

A broken broom, covered with very ancient cobwebs, lay under one manger, and the remnants of a stable-bucket under another.

When the bucket came up full of water, the top was all yellow with dandelions.

If he has stolen a watering bucket or a harrow, he shall pay three shekels of silver.

With a bucket of water and a broomstick he beat out the fire, and went for a run to warm up.


Related Words

Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.




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