[wol-it, waw-lit]


a flat, folding pocketbook, especially one large enough to hold paper money, credit cards, driver's license, etc., and sometimes having a compartment for coins.
Chiefly British. a bag for carrying food, clothing, toilet articles, etc., during a journey; knapsack or rucksack.

Origin of wallet

1350–1400; Middle English walet < ?
Can be confusedbriefcase handbag pocketbook purse valise wallet
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for wallet

folder, purse, pocketbook, billfold

Examples from the Web for wallet

Contemporary Examples of wallet

Historical Examples of wallet

  • Into the breast pocket of his coat he dived and brought up a wallet.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • "About fifty dollars, I think," said the travelling man, fumbling for his wallet.

    The Fortune Hunter

    Louis Joseph Vance

  • He was in rags, and carried the usual beggar's wallet for food or alms.

    Welsh Fairy Tales

    William Elliott Griffis

  • He took a card from his wallet and laid the torn bit of pasteboard upon it.

    The Film of Fear

    Arnold Fredericks

  • When the giants were out of sight, Sharvan took Pinkeen out of his wallet.

    Irish Fairy Tales

    Edmond Leamy

British Dictionary definitions for wallet



a small folding case, usually of leather, for holding paper money, documents, etc
a bag used to carry tools
archaic, mainly British a rucksack or knapsack

Word Origin for wallet

C14: of Germanic origin; compare Old English weallian, Old High German wallōn to roam, German wallen to go on a pilgrimage
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 wallet

late 14c., "bag, knapsack," of uncertain origin, probably from Old French, perhaps from Proto-Germanic *wal- "roll." Meaning "flat case for carrying paper money" is first recorded 1834, American English.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper