from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A small baglike attachment forming part of a garment and used to carry small articles, as a flat pouch sewn inside a pair of pants or a piece of material sewn on its sides and bottom to the outside of a shirt.
  • noun A small sack or bag.
  • noun A receptacle, cavity, or opening.
  • noun Financial means; money supply.
  • noun A small cavity in the earth, especially one containing ore.
  • noun A small body or accumulation of ore.
  • noun A pouch in an animal body, such as the cheek pouch of a rodent or the abdominal pouch of a marsupial.
  • noun Games One of the pouchlike receptacles at the corners and sides of a billiard or pool table.
  • noun Sports The webbing attached to the head of a lacrosse stick, in which the ball is caught and held.
  • noun Baseball The deepest part of a baseball glove, just below the web, where the ball is normally caught.
  • noun Sports A racing position in which a contestant has no room to pass a group of contestants immediately to his or her front or side.
  • noun A small, isolated, or protected area or group.
  • noun Football The area a few yards behind the line of scrimmage that blockers attempt to keep clear so that the quarterback can pass the ball.
  • noun An air pocket.
  • noun A bin for storing ore, grain, or other materials.
  • adjective Suitable for or capable of being carried in one's pocket.
  • adjective Small; miniature.
  • adjective Designating the two cards that are dealt to a player face down in Texas hold'em.
  • transitive verb To place in a pocket.
  • transitive verb To take possession of for oneself, especially dishonestly.
  • transitive verb To accept or tolerate (an insult, for example).
  • transitive verb To conceal or suppress.
  • transitive verb To prevent (a bill) from becoming law by failing to sign until the adjournment of the legislature.
  • transitive verb Sports To hem in (a competitor) in a race.
  • transitive verb Games To hit (a ball) into a pocket of a pool or billiard table.
  • idiom (in (one's) pocket) In one's power, influence, or possession.
  • idiom (in pocket) Having funds.
  • idiom (in pocket) Having gained or retained funds of a specified amount.
  • idiom (out of pocket) Out of one's own resources.
  • idiom (out of pocket) Without funds or assets.
  • idiom (out of pocket) In a state of having experienced a loss, especially a financial one.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To put in a pocket or in one's pocket: as. to pocket a ball in billiards; to pocket a penknife.
  • To appropriate to one's self or for one's own use; take possession of.
  • In racing slang, to surround in such a way as to leave no room for getting out or in front: as, he was pocketed at the beginning of the race.
  • To carry in or as in the pocket; specifically, of a president, governor, or other executive officer, to prevent (a bill) from becoming law by retaining it unsigned. See pocket veto, under pocket, n.
  • To accept meekly or without protest or resentment; submit to tamely or without demand for redress, apology, etc.: as, to pocket an insult.
  • To conceal; give no indication of; suppress: as, to pocket one's pride.
  • To control or have the control of, as if carried in one's pocket: as, to pocket a borough.
  • In mech., placed in a case or pocket: as, a pocketed valve. See valve
  • To submit tamely to; accept without protest or murmur.
  • noun A small cavity in a rock-surface or in the channel of an intermittent stream, sometimes holding a pool of water. Also called a water-pocket.
  • noun In Australia: A bar formed by a river at a bend, much curved and hollowed out near its shore end.
  • noun A circular, hollowed-out spot in thick scrub.
  • noun A small pouch or bag; specifically, a small pouch inserted in a garment for” carrying money or other small articles.
  • noun That which is carried in the pocket; money; means; financial resources.
  • noun One of the small bags or nets at the corners and sides of some billiard-tables.
  • noun Any cavity or opening forming a receptacle: as, a brace-pocket, a post-pocket, etc.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, pouch, small bag, from Anglo-Norman pokete, diminutive of Old North French poke, bag, of Germanic origin.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English pocket ("bag, sack"), from Anglo-Norman poket, Old Northern French poquet, poquete, diminutive of poque, poke ("bag, sack") (compare modern French pochette from Old French pochete, from puche), from Frankish *pokka (“pouch”), from Proto-Germanic *puk-, *pūka- (“bag, pouch”), from Proto-Indo-European *buk-, *bu-, *beu- (“to blow, swell”). Cognate with Middle Dutch poke, Alemannic German Pfoch ("purse, bag"), Old English pocca, pohha ("poke, pouch, pocket, bag"), Old Norse poki ("bag, pocket"). Cf. the related poke ("sack or bag"). See also Modern French pochette.


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word pocket.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • n. (funk) The place where you put the groove.

    September 29, 2008