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)


    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 formspock·et·less, adjectivepock·et·like, adjectiveun·pock·et, verb (used with object)

Synonyms for pocket

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for in 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 areaa 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 groundback pocket; forward pocket
Southern 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
in the pocket rugby (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; smalla pocket edition
(modifier) poker slang denoting a pair formed from the two private cards dealt to a player in a game of Texas hold 'empocket queens

verb -ets, -eting or -eted (tr)

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 lawSee also pocket veto
to hem in (an opponent), as in racing
Derived Formspocketable, adjectivepocketless, adjective

Word Origin for pocket

C15: from Anglo-Norman poket a little bag, from poque bag, from Middle Dutch poke poke ², 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

Word Origin and History for in 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

in pocket in Medicine




In anatomy, a cul-de-sac or pouchlike cavity.
A diseased space between the inflamed gum and the surface of a tooth.
A collection of pus in a nearly closed sac.


To enclose within a confined space.
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.

Idioms and Phrases with in pocket

in pocket

Having funds; also, having a particular amount of extra funds that constitute a profit. For example, Tom's in pocket this week so let him treat us all, or After a day at the races she was a hundred dollars in pocket. [Mid-1700s] Also see in one's pocket.


In addition to the idioms beginning with pocket

  • pocket money
  • pocket veto

also see:

  • deep pockets
  • in one's pocket
  • in pocket
  • line one's pockets
  • money burns a hole in one's pocket
  • out of pocket
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.