[ pok-it ]
See synonyms for pocket on Thesaurus.com
  1. a shaped piece of fabric attached inside or outside a garment and forming a pouch used especially for carrying small articles.

  2. a bag or pouch.

  1. means; financial resources: The store carried a selection of gifts to fit every pocket.

  2. any pouchlike receptacle, compartment, hollow, or cavity.

  3. 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.

  4. a recess, as in a wall, for receiving a sliding door, sash weights, etc.

  5. 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.

  6. Mining.

    • a small orebody or mass of ore, frequently isolated.

    • a bin for ore or rock storage.

    • a raise or small slope fitted with chute gates.

  7. Billiards, Pool. any of the pouches or bags at the corners and sides of the table.

  8. a position in which a competitor in a race is so hemmed in by others that their progress is impeded.

  9. 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.

  10. Bowling. the space between the headpin and the pin next behind to the left or right, taken as the target for a strike.

  11. Baseball. the deepest part of a mitt or glove, roughly in the area around the center of the palm, where most balls are caught.

  12. 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.

  13. Anatomy. any saclike cavity in the body: a pus pocket.

  14. an English unit of weight for hops equivalent to 168 pounds (76.4 kilograms).

  1. small enough or suitable for carrying in the pocket: a pocket watch.

  2. relatively small; smaller than usual: a pocket war; a pocket country.

verb (used with object)
  1. to put into one's pocket: She pocketed her keys and headed out.

  2. to take possession of as one's own, often dishonestly: The mayor was found guilty of pocketing public funds.

  1. to submit to or endure without protest or open resentment: She can't be expected to pocket an insult like that.

  2. to conceal or suppress: If you want to make it in this industry, you'll have to pocket your pride.

  3. to enclose or confine in or as if in a pocket: The town was pocketed in a small valley.

  4. Billiards, Pool. to drive (a ball) into a pocket.

  5. to hem in (a contestant) so as to impede progress, as in racing.

Idioms about pocket

  1. in one's pocket, in one's possession; under one's influence: He has the audience in his pocket.

  2. line one's pockets, to profit, especially at the expense of others: While millions were fighting and dying, the profiteers were lining their pockets.

  1. out of pocket,

    • having suffered a financial loss; poorer: He had made unwise land purchases, and found himself several thousand dollars out of pocket.

    • lacking money.

    • Informal. not available; unreachable: I'll be out of pocket all afternoon.

Origin of pocket

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English poket, from Old North French (Picard ) poquet (Old French pochet, pochette ), diminutive of poque, from Middle Dutch poke “bag, pocket”; see poke2, -et

Other words for pocket

Other words from pocket

  • pock·et·less, adjective
  • pock·et·like, adjective
  • un·pock·et, verb (used with object)

Words Nearby pocket

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use pocket in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for pocket


/ (ˈpɒkɪt) /

  1. a small bag or pouch in a garment for carrying small articles, money, etc

  2. any bag or pouch or anything resembling this

    • a cavity or hollow in the earth, etc, such as one containing gold or other ore

    • the ore in such a place

  1. a small enclosed or isolated area: a pocket of resistance

  2. billiards snooker any of the six holes with pouches or nets let into the corners and sides of a billiard table

  3. a position in a race in which a competitor is hemmed in

  4. Australian rules football a player in one of two side positions at the ends of the ground: back pocket; forward pocket

  5. Southern African a bag or sack of vegetables or fruit

  6. in one's pocket under one's control

  7. in pocket having made a profit, as after a transaction

  8. 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

  9. out of pocket having made a loss, as after a transaction

  10. line one's pockets to make money, esp by dishonesty when in a position of trust

  11. (modifier) suitable for fitting in a pocket; small: a pocket edition

  12. (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-ets, -eting or -eted (tr)
  1. to put into one's pocket

  2. to take surreptitiously or unlawfully; steal

  1. (usually passive) to enclose or confine in or as if in a pocket

  2. to receive (an insult, injury, etc) without retaliating

  3. to conceal or keep back (feelings): he pocketed his pride and accepted help

  4. billiards snooker to drive (a ball) into a pocket

  5. 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

  6. to hem in (an opponent), as in racing

Origin of pocket

C15: from Anglo-Norman poket a little bag, from poque bag, from Middle Dutch poke poke ², bag; related to French poche pocket

Derived forms of pocket

  • pocketable, adjective
  • pocketless, adjective

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with 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.