a small bag for carrying things in, made of cloth and sewn into the inside or onto the outside of a piece of clothing
He took some coins from/out of his pocket.
the part of a piece of clothing that you can put things in:
I put the key in my pocket.
pick somebody's pocket to steal money from somebody's pocket or bag
I. pock‧et1 S2 W2 /ˈpɒkət, ˈpɒkɪt $ ˈpɑː-/ BrE AmE noun [countable]
[Date: 1400-1500; Language: Old North French; Origin: pokete, from poke 'bag']
1. IN CLOTHES a type of small bag in or on a coat, trousers etc that you can put money, keys etc in:
Luke came in with his hands in his pockets.
jacket/trouser etc pocket
The keys are in my trouser pocket.
the inside pocket of his jacket
The policeman told me to turn out my pockets (=take everything out of them).
2. MONEY the amount of money that you have to spend:
There are eight hotels, with a price range to suit every pocket.
from/out of/into your own pocket
Dan had to pay for the repairs out of his own pocket.
He was accused of diverting some of the firm’s money into his own pocket.
The deepening recession has hit people’s pockets.
For investors with deep pockets (=a lot of money), the Berlin property market is attractive.
3. SMALL CONTAINER a small bag or piece of material fastened to something so that you can put things into it:
Please read the air safety card in the pocket of the seat in front.
4. SMALL AREA/AMOUNT a small area or amount of something that is different from what surrounds it
In some parts, there are still pockets of violence and unrest.
pockets of air inside the hull of the ship
5. be in sb’s pocket to be controlled or strongly influenced by someone in authority, and willing to do whatever they want:
The judge was in the defense lawyer’s pocket.
6. have something in your pocket to be certain to win something such as a competition or an election:
The Democrats had the election in their pocket.
7. out of pocket especially British English informal if you are out of pocket, you have less money than you should have, especially as a result of making a mistake or being unlucky:
If he loses the deal, he’ll be badly out of pocket.
8. be/live in each other’s pockets British English informal if two people are in each other’s pockets, they are together too much
GAME a small net on a ↑pool, ↑snooker, or ↑billiard table, which you try to hit balls into ⇨ ↑air pocket, ⇨ burn a hole in your pocket at ↑burn1(17), ⇨ line your own pockets at ↑line2(4), ⇨ pick sb’s pocket at ↑pick1(14)
pocket / ˈpɒk.ɪt / / ˈpɑː.kɪt / 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 jacket/trouser/coat pocket
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 fixed 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.
pockets, pocketing, pocketed
1) N-COUNT: oft poss N, n N A pocket is a kind of small bag which forms part of a piece of clothing, and which is used for carrying small things such as money or a handkerchief.
He took his flashlight from his jacket pocket and switched it on...
The man stood with his hands in his pockets.
2) N-COUNT You can use pocket in a lot of different ways to refer to money that people have, get, or spend. For example, if someone gives or pays a lot of money, you can say that they dig deep into their pocket. If you approve of something because it is very cheap to buy, you can say that it suits people's pockets.
When you come to choosing a dining table, it really is worth digging deep into your pocket for the best you can afford.
...ladies' fashions to suit all shapes, sizes and pockets...
You would be buying a piece of history as well as a boat, if you put your hand in your pocket for this one...
We don't believe that they have the economic reforms in place which would justify putting huge sums of Western money into their pockets.
3) ADJ: ADJ n You use pocket to describe something that is small enough to fit into a pocket, often something that is a smaller version of a larger item.
...a pocket calculator.
...my pocket edition of the Oxford English Dictionary.
4) N-COUNT: usu N of n A pocket of something is a small area where something is happening, or a small area which has a particular quality, and which is different from the other areas around it.
Trapped in a pocket of air, they had only 40 minutes before the tide flooded the chamber...
The newly established government controls the bulk of the city apart from a few pockets of resistance.
5) VERB If someone who is in possession of something valuable such as a sum of money pockets it, they steal it or take it for themselves, even though it does not belong to them.
[V n] Dishonest importers would be able to pocket the VAT collected from customers.
6) VERB If you say that someone pockets something such as a prize or sum of money, you mean that they win or obtain it, often without needing to make much effort or in a way that seems unfair. [JOURNALISM]
[V n] He pocketed more money from this tournament than in his entire three years as a professional.
7) VERB If someone pockets something, they put it in their pocket, for example because they want to steal it or hide it.
[V n] Anthony snatched his letters and pocketed them...
[V n] He pocketed a wallet containing ₤40 cash from the bedside of a dead man.
8) PHRASE: V inflects If you say that some money is burning a hole in someone's pocket, you mean that they want to spend it as soon as possible.
It's Saturday, you're down the high street and you've got a few quid burning a hole in your pocket.
9) PHRASE: usu v-link PHR (disapproval) If you say that someone is in someone else's pocket, you disapprove of the fact that the first person is willing to do whatever the second person tells them, for example out of weakness or in return for money.
The board of directors must surely have been in Johnstone's pocket.
10) PHRASE: V inflects (disapproval) If you say that someone is lining their own or someone else's pockets, you disapprove of them because they are making money dishonestly or unfairly.
It is estimated that 5,000 bank staff could be lining their own pockets from customer accounts.
...a government that ignores the needs of the majority in order to line the pockets of the favoured few.
11) PHRASE: v-link PHR, PHR after v If you are out of pocket, you have less money than you should have or than you intended, for example because you have spent too much or because of a mistake.
→ See also out-of-pocket
They were well out of pocket - they had spent far more in Hollywood than he had earned...
Statements with errors could still be going out, but customers who notify us will not be left out of pocket.
12) PHRASE: V and N inflect If someone picks your pocket, they steal something from your pocket, usually without you noticing.
They were more in danger of having their pockets picked than being shot at.
1pock·et /ˈpɑːkət/ noun, pl -ets [count]
1 : a usually small cloth bag that is sewn into a piece of clothing, a larger bag, etc., and that is open at the top or side so that you can put things into it
• He keeps his gloves in his coat pocket.
• She was standing there with her hands in her pockets.
• a hip/breast/shirt pocket
• I have a hole in my pocket.
• Her pocket was full of change/coins.
• The security guard asked us to empty our pockets. [=to take out everything in our pockets]
- see color picture
2 : the amount of money that someone has available to spend
• We're looking for investors with pockets that are deep enough to pay for the project. [=investors with enough money to pay for the project]
• There are items in our store that suit every pocket. [=that everyone can afford to buy]
• The governor paid for the event out of his own pocket. [=with his own money rather than the state's money]
• The mayor diverted city funds into his own pockets. [=he took money that belonged to the city]
- see also deep pockets
3 : a small bag or container that is attached to something and used to hold things
• There are pockets on the back of each car seat.
• The tickets are in the zippered pocket on the front of the suitcase.
4 : a small area or group that is different from the larger area or group it is in or near - usually + of
• Military forces have encountered a few pockets of resistance.
5 pool and billiards : a bag or cup that you hit the ball into at the corner or side of a pool table or billiard table
• He knocked the ball into the corner/side pocket.
6 : air pocket
be/live in each other's pockets Brit informal : to be too close to someone or spend too much time with someone
in someone's pocket or in the pocket of someone disapproving : under someone's control or influence
• The judge in the case was in the senator's pocket. [=was controlled by the senator]
• researchers/scientists who are in the pocket of pharmaceutical companies
in your pocket informal
✦If you have something in your pocket, you are certain to win or get it.
• The interview went really well. I thought I had the job in my pocket.
• She knew that she had the game/match in her pocket. [=she knew she would win the game]
line your pockets
- see 3line
out of pocket chiefly Brit informal : having less money because of something that has happened
• The lawsuit has left company shareholders $30 million out of pocket.
- see also out-of-pocket
- see 1pick