1. 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.
2. A small sack or bag.
3. A receptacle, cavity, or opening.
4. Financial means; money supply: The cost of the trip must come out of your own pocket.
a. A small cavity in the earth, especially one containing ore.
b. A small body or accumulation of ore.
6. A pouch in an animal body, such as the cheek pouch of a rodent or the abdominal pouch of a marsupial.
7. Games One of the pouchlike receptacles at the corners and sides of a billiard or pool table.
8. Sports The webbing attached to the head of a lacrosse stick, in which the ball is caught and held.
9. Baseball The deepest part of a baseball glove, just below the web, where the ball is normally caught.
10. Sports A racing position in which a contestant has no room to pass a group of contestants immediately to that contestant's front or side.
a. A small, isolated, or protected area or group: pockets of dissatisfied voters.
b. 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.
12. An air pocket.
13. A bin for storing ore, grain, or other materials.
1. Suitable for or capable of being carried in one's pocket: a pocket handkerchief; a pocket edition of a dictionary.
2. Small; miniature: a pocket backyard; a pocket museum.
3. Designating the two cards that are dealt to a player face down in Texas hold'em: was holding pocket eights.
tr.v. pock·et·ed, pock·et·ing, pock·etsIdioms:
1. To place in a pocket: pocketed her key.
2. To take possession of for oneself, especially dishonestly: pocketed the receipts from the charity dance.
a. To accept or tolerate (an insult, for example).
b. To conceal or suppress: I pocketed my pride and asked for a raise.
4. To prevent (a bill) from becoming law by failing to sign until the adjournment of the legislature.
5. Sports To hem in (a competitor) in a race.
6. Games To hit (a ball) into a pocket of a pool or billiard table.
in (one's) pocket
In one's power, influence, or possession: The defendant had the jury in his pocket.
1. Having funds.
2. Having gained or retained funds of a specified amount: was a hundred dollars in pocket after a day at the races.
out of pocket
1. Out of one's own resources: fees paid out of pocket.
2. Without funds or assets: a traveler who was caught out of pocket.
3. In a state of having experienced a loss, especially a financial one.
[Middle English, pouch, small bag, from Anglo-Norman pokete, diminutive of Old North French poke, bag, of Germanic origin.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.