A bowling term referring to the location where the bowling ball needs to be thrown for the best chance of a strike.

For a right-hander, the pocket is coming in slightly from the right, hitting the one and three pins. It's on the opposite side for the lefty, at the one and two pins.

This location gets the maximum "pin action" - the bouncing, rolling, and the like, that will create the most potential for a strike. Because of the way the pins are set up, a shot that hits right in the center of the pins (often known as "punching the nose"), will be unlikely to yield a strike, often resulting in a split. (4-6-7-10, 4-7-10, 6-7-10, and 7-10 all common, depending on the angle and some luck)

A pocket shot does not guarantee a strike - there are some other variables involved, mainly the angle the ball comes in from, that can yield less than all ten pins down. Both seven and ten pins are common sights to the experienced bowler, and other odd arrangements can come out of a glancing blow to the pocket.

A pocket shot is also not necessary for a strike - dumb luck can yield one occasionally, and hitting the pocket on the other side (known as a "brooklyn" shot) can yield one also.

A perfect pocket shot is a sight to behold, as all ten pins will quickly be cleared from the lane, an it has a very unmistakable sound.

In American football, the pocket is the small space where the quarterback might either become trapped, or be provided excellent protection, depending on the quarterback's mental acuity and athleticism and the quality of defense afforded by the offensive line.

Upon initiation of most offensive plays, the quarterback takes the ball and backs away from the offensive line while searching for a receiver or running back. As the defensive line presses in to stop the play, the offensive line bows and bends around the quarterback as if he were the focus of a lens. Ideally for the offense, the pocket will hold its integrity, allowing the quarterback enough time to hand the ball off to a running back or pass to a receiver or tight end. Ideally for the defense, the pocket will buckle and break, allowing for a linebacker or another defensive player to penetrate the offensive line, thus allowing him to tackle the quarterback, intercept or block a pass, or halt the advance of an offensive runner.

Pock"et (?), n. [OE. poket, Prov. F. & OF. poquette, F. pochette, dim. fr. poque, pouque, F. poche; probably of Teutonic origin. See Poke a pocket, and cf. Poach to cook eggs, to plunder, and Pouch.]


A bag or pouch; especially; a small bag inserted in a garment for carrying small articles, particularly money; hence, figuratively, money; wealth.


One of several bags attached to a billiard table, into which the balls are driven.


A large bag or sack used in packing various articles, as ginger, hops, cowries, etc.

⇒ In the wool or hop trade, the pocket contains half a sack, or about 168 Ibs.; but it is a variable quantity, the articles being sold by actual weight.

4. (Arch.)

A hole or space covered by a movable piece of board, as in a floor, boxing, partitions, or the like.

5. (Mining.)


A cavity in a rock containing a nugget of gold, or other mineral; a small body of ore contained in such a cavity.


A hole containing water.

6. (Nat.)

A strip of canvas, sewn upon a sail so that a batten or a light spar can placed in the interspace.

7. (Zoöl.)

Same as Pouch.

Pocket is often used adjectively, or in the formation of compound words usually of obvious signification; as, pocket comb, pocket compass, pocket edition, pocket handkerchief, pocket money, pocket picking, or pocket-picking, etc.

Out of pocket. See under Out, prep. --
Pocket borough, a borough "owned" by some person. See under Borough. [Eng.] --
Pocket gopher (Zoöl.), any one of several species of American rodents of the genera Geomys, and Thomomys, family Geomydæ. They have large external cheek pouches, and are fossorial in their habits. they inhabit North America, from the Mississippi Valley west to the Pacific. Called also pouched gopher. --
Pocket mouse (Zoöl.), any species of American mice of the family Saccomyidæ. They have external cheek pouches. Some of them are adapted for leaping (genus Dipadomys), and are called kangaroo mice. They are native of the Southwestern United States, Mexico, etc. --
Pocket piece, a piece of money kept in the pocket and not spent. --
Pocket pistol, a pistol to be carried in the pocket. --
Pocket sheriff (Eng. Law), a sheriff appointed by the sole authority of the crown, without a nomination by the judges in the exchequer. Burrill.


© Webster 1913

Pock"et (?), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Pocketed; p. pr. & vb. n. Pocketing.]


To put, or conceal, in the pocket; as, to pocket the change.

He would pocket the expense of the license.


To take clandestinely or fraudulently.

He pocketed pay in the names of men who had long been dead.

To pocket a ball (Billiards), to drive a ball into a pocket of the table. --
To pocket an insult, affront, etc., to receive an affront without open resentment, or without seeking redress. "I must pocket up these wrongs." Shak.


© Webster 1913

Pock"et (?), n.

Any hollow place suggestive of a pocket in form or use; specif.:


A bin for storing coal, grain, etc.


A socket for receiving the foot of a post, stake, etc.


A bight on a lee shore.


© Webster 1913

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