Definition of “pocket” - English Dictionary

“pocket” in British English

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pocketnoun [ C ]

uk /ˈpɒk.ɪt/ us /ˈpɑː.kɪt/

pocket noun [ C ] (BAG)

A2 a small bag for carrying things in, made of cloth and sewn into the inside or onto the outside of a piece of clothing:

a hip/breast pocket
She thrust her hands deep in/into her pockets.
He took some coins from/out of his pocket.

B1 a container, usually made of cloth, that is sewn into or onto a bag or attached to a seat or door in a vehicle:

Sarah put her maps in the outside pocket of her rucksack.
The safety instructions are in the pocket of the seat in front of you.

one of several holes around the edge of a billiard or snooker table, into which balls are hit

C2 informal the amount of money that someone has for spending:

You need deep pockets (= a lot of money) if you're involved in a long law suit.
I paid for my ticket out of my own pocket (= with my own money), but I can claim the cost of it back from my employer.

More examples

pocket noun [ C ] (GROUP/AREA)

a group, area, or mass of something that is separate and different from what surrounds it:

Among the staff there are some pockets of resistance to the planned changes (= some small groups of them are opposed).
The pilot said that we were going to encounter a pocket of turbulence (= an area of violently moving air).

pocketverb [ T ]

uk /ˈpɒk.ɪt/ us /ˈpɑː.kɪt/

to put something into your pocket:

He carefully pocketed his change.

to hit a billiard or snooker ball into a pocket:

Davis pocketed the black to win the game.

to take something for yourself, especially dishonestly:

I'll tell them I sold it for £25, not £25, then I can pocket the rest.

pocketadjective [ before noun ]

uk /ˈpɒk.ɪt/ us /ˈpɑː.kɪt/

(Definition of “pocket” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

“pocket” in American English

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pocketnoun [ C ]

us /ˈpɑk·ɪt/

pocket noun [ C ] (BAG)

a small bag, usually made of cloth, sewn on the inside or outside of a piece of clothing and used to hold small objects:

coat/pants/shirt pockets
She took her keys out of her pocket.
I paid for my ticket out of my own pocket (= with my own money).

A pocket is also a small container that is part of or attached to something else:

The map is in the pocket on the car door.

In the game of pool, the pockets are the holes around the edge of the table into which the balls are hit.

pocket noun [ C ] (PART)

a small part of something larger that is considered separate because of a particular quality:

It remained a pocket of poverty within a generally affluent area.
pocketful
noun [ C ] us /ˈpɑk·ɪtˌfʊl/

a pocketful of coins

pocketadjective [ not gradable ]

us /ˈpɑk·ɪt/

pocket adjective [ not gradable ] (BAG)

small enough to be kept in a pocket:

a pocket diary
a pocket watch

pocketverb [ T ]

us /ˈpɑk·ɪt/

pocket verb [ T ] (BAG)

to put something in your pocket, or (fig.) to take money esp. when it has been obtained unfairly or illegally:

He pocketed his change.
fig. Some sold nonexistent land and pocketed all the cash.

(Definition of “pocket” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

“pocket” in Business English

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pocketnoun [ C ]

uk /ˈpɒkɪt/ us

FINANCE used to talk about the amount of money that a person or an organization has for spending:

come from/out of sb's pocket The cost of fixing flaws comes out of the contractor's pocket.
put cash/money into sb's pockets This is significant because it puts more cash into people's pockets.
He will have to dig deep into the taxpayer's pocket to finance the required investment in the country's rail infrastructure.
This is beyond the pockets of most homeowners.

a group, area, or part of something which is separate and different from what surrounds it:

Outside of manufacturing, there are pockets of our economy that continue to perform well.
be in the pocket of sb/sth

to be under the control of a person, an organization, etc.:

At the heart of the scandal is the suggestion that supposedly independent brokers are in the pocket of the insurers which are theoretically competing.
deep pockets

a lot of money:

In this market, you need to have deep pockets.
The two companies will survive any downturn because of their large market shares, strong technology, and deep pockets.
from/out of your own pocket(s)

using your own personal money, and not the money of a company or an organization:

Managers have donated €80,000 from their own pockets to help the company fund its campaign.
hit sb/sth in the pocket

to make a person or an organization pay for something:

The shareholders have been hit in the pocket.
line your/sb's pockets

to get richer or make someone richer, especially by acting unfairly or by being dishonest:

He was not accused of lining his own pockets.
out of pocket UK FINANCE

having less money than you had previously or should have, as a result of something such as a business deal:

The company is out of pocket to the tune of $18 million.
The limit on his pension would be irrespective of how fast prices are rising, meaning he could be out of pocket in real terms.
leave sb out of pocket Charities fear that an interruption to the lottery could leave them out of pocket.
See also

US INSURANCE if you pay out of pocket for medical treatment, you pay for the cost of treatment that is not included in your insurance:

According to the report, families are paying about $1,500 more out of pocket than six years ago
put your hand in your pocket

to spend money or give money to someone:

The landlord insisted that the tenant should put his hand in his pocket and pay for the repairs.

pocketverb [ T ]

uk /ˈpɒkɪt/ us

to earn or win an amount of money:

The company now pockets £44 million profit a year.
Even relatively junior traders were pocketing huge bonuses.

to take money for yourself in a dishonest way, especially when you are responsible for looking after it:

The two men were indicted for pocketing tens of millions of dollars.
pocket the difference

to keep the extra money made from a financial deal, often in a dishonest way:

They purchased homes with loans above the asking price so they could pocket the difference.

pocketadjective [ before noun ]

uk /ˈpɒkɪt/ us

relating to something that is small enough to be put or carried in your pocket:

a pocket computer/pager/PC

(Definition of “pocket” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)