verb (used with object), pock·et-ve·toed, pock·et-ve·to·ing.

to veto (a bill) by exercising a pocket veto.

pocket veto


a veto of a bill brought about by the president's failure to sign it within ten days of the adjournment of Congress.
a similar action on the part of any legislative executive.

Origin of pocket veto

An Americanism dating back to 1835–45
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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Historical Examples of pocket-veto

British Dictionary definitions for pocket-veto

pocket veto

noun US

the action of the President in retaining unsigned a bill passed by Congress within the last ten days of a session and thus causing it to die
any similar action by a state governor or other chief executive
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

pocket-veto in Culture

pocket veto

An automatic veto of a bill that occurs if the president or governor neither signs nor vetoes a bill within ten days of receiving it — as long as the legislature adjourns during that period. If the legislature convenes during that period, the bill will automatically become law. A pocket veto cannot be overridden by the legislature, though the bill can be reintroduced at the next legislative session.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with pocket-veto

pocket veto

The implied veto of a bill by the President of the United States or by a state governor or other executive who simply holds the bill without signing it until the legislature has adjourned. For example, The President used the pocket veto to kill the crime bill. This expression dates from the 1830s and alludes to putting the unsigned bill inside one's pocket.

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