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in a Tacuinum Sanitatis]] A pocket is a small bag to hold small and important items and sometimes used as temporary storage of small items, particularly a bag-like receptacle either fastened to or inserted in an article of clothing.

In European clothing pockets began by being hung like purses from a belt, which could be concealed beneath a coat or jerkin and reached through a slit in the outer garment.

The word appears in Middle English as poket, and is taken from a Norman diminutive of Old French poke, pouque, modern poche, cf. pouch. The form "poke" is now only used dialectically, or in such proverbial sayings as "a pig in a poke".

Historically, the term pocket referred to:

  • A pouch worn around the waist by women in the 17th to 19th centuries, mentioned in the rhyme Lucy Locket if interpreted literally.[1]
  • A sack in which hops were stored, generally with a capacity of 168–224 lb (76–102 kg).

A fob pocket is a small pocket designed to hold an old style pocket watch, sometimes found in men's trousers and waistcoats.


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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary





The back pocket of a pair of jeans (1).
A corner pocket on a billiards table (2).



From Old Norman poquete, diminutive of poque 'bag' (mod. pouque), from Old Low Franconian *poka 'pouch', akin to Middle Dutch poke, German dialectal Pfoch, Old English pocca.




pocket (plural pockets)

  1. A bag stitched to an item of clothing, used for carrying small items.
  2. (sports, billiards, pool, snooker) An indention and cavity with a net sack or similar structure (into which the balls are to be struck) at each corner and one centered on each side of a pool or snooker table.
  3. An enclosed volume of one substance surrounded by another.
    The drilling expedition discovered a pocket of natural gas.
  4. An area of land surrounded by a loop of a river (Australian English)
  5. (Australian rules football) The area of the field to the side of the goal posts (four pockets in total on the field, one to each side of the goals at each end of the ground). The pocket is only a roughly defined area, extending from the behind post, at an angle, to perhaps about 30 meters out.
  6. (American Football) The region directly behind the offensive line in which the quarterback executes plays.



to pocket

Third person singular

Simple past

Past participle

Present participle

to pocket (third-person singular simple present pockets, present participle pocketing, simple past and past participle pocketed)

  1. To put (something) into a pocket.
  2. (sports, billiards, snooker, pool) To cause a ball to go into one of the pockets of the table; to complete a shot.
  3. (slang) To take and keep (especially money) that which is not one's own.
  4. (slang) To shoplift, to steal.


  • (in billiards, etc): pot



pocket (not comparable)


not comparable

none (absolute)

  1. Of a size suitable for putting into a pocket.
    pocket dictionary
  2. Smaller or more compact than usual.
    pocket battleship


  • (of a size suitable for a pocket): pocket-size, pocket-sized


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Derived terms

See also



pocket c.

Inflection for pocket Singular Plural
common Indefinite Definite Indefinite Definite
Base form pocket pocketen pocketar pocketarna
Possessive form pockets pocketens pocketars pocketarnas
  1. paperback; book with flexible binding


Simple English

A pocket is a bag which is part of an item of clothing, reached through an opening in the clothing. The fabric of the clothing is shaped to make these little pouches or purses which are very handy for keeping small amounts of money and other small objects for daily use.

Pockets can be on pants, shirts, skirts, or dresses. Pockets come in very different styles, shapes, closed or unclosed with zippers or buttons. Some styles of clothing though, do not have pockets.

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