Definition of bucket in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈbʌkɪt/


1A roughly cylindrical open container with a handle, made of metal or plastic and used to hold and carry liquids: a bucket and spade an ice bucket
More example sentences
  • Sections of bamboo or plastic buckets are used to carry water from nearby streams for cooking and washing.
  • He still dumps the milk in buckets and carries the buckets to the milk tank.
  • The beans are poured from the buckets into smaller metal bins, and pickers are paid based on the number of bins they fill.
pail, scuttle, can, tub, pitcher, vessel
1.1The contents of a bucket or the amount it can contain: she emptied a bucket of water over them
More example sentences
  • If they answer ‘incorrectly,’ they get drenched by the bucket of water suspended from a stepladder above them.
  • One shot captures him pouring a bucket of money over his head.
  • Later, the bucket of soothing buttermilk was delivered.
1.2 (buckets) informal Large quantities of something, especially liquid: I wept buckets
More example sentences
  • I've lost gallons of sweat and buckets of blood all for you.
  • Despite the heavens opening and depositing buckets of rain a few times this weekend, the festival has been hugely successful.
  • The company has lost buckets of money over the last year or so, and was forced to implement a survival plan, the most notable element of which was a £22m rights issue.
floods, gallons, pints, oceans
British informal lashings
1.3A compartment on the outer edge of a waterwheel: the Laxey wheel had 168 buckets, each holding 24 gallons
More example sentences
  • Too much water will make the buckets unstable and they may tip over.
  • A wooden or metal wheel with paddles or buckets of some kind are attached to the outside so that when set in a watercourse it will rotate as a result of pressure from the movement of the water.
  • Water pours into the top bucket at a steady rate and gives the system energy while water leaks out of each bucket at a steady rate and removes energy from the system.
1.4The scoop of a dredger or grain elevator: as the chain turns the buckets bite into the canal bed and scoop out the mud
More example sentences
  • As the belt with the buckets was lowered into the hold of a ship, the buckets would scoop up the grain and hoist it up into the structure where it was dropped into tall bins.
  • He then placed the buckets closer together and was then able to achieve 1800 or 2000 bushels an hour.
  • The grain would be lifted up in buckets attached to a conveyor belt to the top of the elevator and then distributed into storage bins by a movable spout.
1.5A scoop attached to the front of a loader, digger, or tractor.
Example sentences
  • This company also makes use of quick couplers on its loaders, so the bucket can quickly be attached or removed from the loader.
  • His arm was crushed by a large bucket on a digger.
  • So he called his dad who brought up the tractor, and he got into the digger bucket and they maneuvered it up high into the tree and rescued her.
2 Computing A unit of data that can be transferred from a backing store in a single operation.
Example sentences
  • These caches can be thought of as simple hardware hash tables with fixed size buckets and no chaining, as shown in Figure 1.
  • This selects buckets for redistributing data between nodes in a parallel database in the incremental mode.
  • However, it begins to fall apart if presentational elements do not fall easily into the predetermined buckets for each archetype.

verb (buckets, bucketing, bucketed)

[no object]
1 (it buckets down, it is bucketing down, etc.) British informal Rain heavily: it was still bucketing down
More example sentences
  • Unfortunately we had reckoned without the Texas weather, which decided to bucket down with rain all morning.
  • Its been bucketing it down in these parts for the last few days.
  • The rain was bucketing down hard and showed no sign of letting up.
2 [with adverbial of direction] informal (Of a vehicle) move quickly and jerkily: the car came bucketing out of a side road
More example sentences
  • The Cuban driver swung out of town, and the bus bucketed along the narrow muddy road.
  • So I held on to the string, and the whistle continued and the little train bucketed along like a mad thing till I was told to let go.
  • In the far off distance, a single vehicle was bucketing along the road, a brown cloud of dust boiling up behind it.


tip (or drop or turn) the bucket on

Australian informal Make damaging revelations about (someone or something): a corporate whistle-blower wanting to tip the bucket on an unscrupulous employer
More example sentences
  • The incident made me want to tip the bucket on this kind of behaviour.
  • They decided to tip the bucket on the bank's star planner.
  • He won't be answering to any inquiries when he tips the bucket on scandal, skulduggery, or just general incompetence.



Pronunciation: /ˈbʌkɪtfʊl/
noun (plural bucketfuls)
Example sentences
  • It teeters on the cusp of the Mediterranean, offering endless vistas of blue-green sea, bucketfuls of fresh air, and crumbling, salty buildings of the old town that still manage to retain their elegance.
  • They are also rich in cockles and for generations local people have gathered small bucketfuls of the shellfish to eat.
  • Everybody knows they are there and I went down with a small net the other day and came back with three bucketfuls.


Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French buquet 'tub, pail', perhaps from Old English būc 'belly, pitcher'.

Words that rhyme with bucket

Nantucket, tucket

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: bucket

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