Pocket borough

Pocket borough
Pocket Pock"et (p[o^]k"[e^]t), 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}.] 1. A bag or pouch; especially; a small bag inserted in a garment for carrying small articles, particularly money; hence, figuratively, money; wealth. [1913 Webster]

2. One of several bags attached to a billiard table, into which the balls are driven. [1913 Webster]

3. A large bag or sack used in packing various articles, as ginger, hops, cowries, etc. [1913 Webster]

Note: 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. [1913 Webster]

4. (Arch.) A hole or space covered by a movable piece of board, as in a floor, boxing, partitions, or the like. [1913 Webster]

5. (Mining.) (a) A cavity in a rock containing a nugget of gold, or other mineral; a small body of ore contained in such a cavity. (b) A hole containing water. [1913 Webster]

6. (Nat.) A strip of canvas, sewn upon a sail so that a batten or a light spar can placed in the interspace. [1913 Webster]

7. (Zo["o]l.) Same as {Pouch}. [1913 Webster]

8. Any hollow place suggestive of a pocket in form or use; specif.: (a) A bin for storing coal, grain, etc. (b) A socket for receiving the foot of a post, stake, etc. (c) A bight on a lee shore. (d) a small cavity in the body, especially one abnormally filled with a fluid; as, a pocket of pus. (e) (Dentistry) a small space between a tooth and the adjoining gum, formed by an abnormal separation of the gum from the tooth. [Webster 1913 Suppl. +PJC]

9. An isolated group or area which has properties in contrast to the surrounding area; as, a pocket of poverty in an affluent region; pockets of resistance in a conquered territory; a pocket of unemployment in a booming ecomony. [PJC]

10. (Football) The area from which a quarterback throws a pass, behind the line of scrimmage, delineated by the defensive players of his own team who protect him from attacking opponents; as, he had ample time in the pocket to choose an open receiver. [PJC]

11. (Baseball) The part of a baseball glove covering the palm of the wearer's hand. [PJC]

12. (Bowling) the space between the head pin and one of the pins in the second row, considered as the optimal point at which to aim the bowling ball in order to get a strike. [PJC]

Note: Pocket is often used adjectively in the sense of small, or in the formation of compound words usually of obvious signification; as, pocket knife, pocket comb, pocket compass, pocket edition, pocket handkerchief, pocket money, pocket picking, or pocket-picking, etc. [1913 Webster]

{deep pocket} or

{deep pockets}, wealth or substantial financial assets.

Note: Used esp. in legal actions, where plaintiffs desire to find a defendant with "deep pockets", so as to be able to actually obtain the sum of damages which may be judged due to him. This contrasts with a "judgment-proof" defendant, one who has neither assets nor insurance, and against whom a judgment for monetary damages would be uncollectable and worthless.

{Out of pocket}. See under {Out}, prep.

{Pocket borough}, a borough ``owned'' by some person. See under {Borough}. [Eng.]

{Pocket gopher} (Zo["o]l.), any one of several species of American rodents of the genera {Geomys}, and {Thomomys}, family {Geomyd[ae]}. 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} (Zo["o]l.), any species of American mice of the family {Saccomyid[ae]}. 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. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Pocket borough — Borough Bor ough, n. [OE. burgh, burw, boru, port, town, burrow, AS. burh, burg; akin to Icel., Sw., & Dan. borg, OS. & D. burg, OHG. puruc, purc, MHG. burc, G. burg, Goth. ba[ u]rgs; and from the root of AS. beorgan to hide, save, defend, G.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • pocket borough — n. in Great Britain before 1832, a borough whose representation in Parliament was controlled by one family or person …   English World dictionary

  • pocket borough — 1. (before the Reform Bill of 1832) any English borough whose representatives in Parliament were controlled by an individual or family. 2. an election district under the control of an individual, family, or group. [1855 60] * * * ▪ British… …   Universalium

  • pocket borough — noun a sparsely populated borough in which all or most of the land is owned by a single family • Hypernyms: ↑borough …   Useful english dictionary

  • POCKET BOROUGH —    a borough in which the influence of some magnate of the place determines the voting at an election time, a thing pretty much of the past …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • pocket borough —  A British parliamentary borough controlled by one person or group; common before parliamentary reforms of 1832 …   Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors

  • pocket borough — noun historical (in the UK) a borough in which the election of political representatives was controlled by one person or family …   English new terms dictionary

  • pocket borough — pock′et bor ough n. why (before 1832) an English borough whose representation in Parliament was controlled by an individual or family …   From formal English to slang

  • pocket borough — noun Date: 1856 an English constituency controlled before parliamentary reform by a single person or family …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Pocket — Pock et (p[o^]k [e^]t), 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}.] 1. A bag or pouch;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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