- 1(North American English also pail) [countable] an open container with a handle, used for carrying or holding liquids, sand, etc. a plastic bucket (British English) They were playing on the beach with their buckets and spades.
- 2[countable] a large container that is part of a crane or digger and is used for lifting things
- 3(also bucketful BrE BrE//ˈbʌkɪtfʊl//; NAmE NAmE//ˈbʌkɪtfʊl//) (North American English also pail, pailful) [countable] the amount contained in a bucket two buckets/bucketfuls of water They used to drink tea by the bucket/bucketful(= in large quantities).
- 4buckets [plural] (informal) a large amount To succeed in show business, you need buckets of confidence. We wept buckets. He was sweating buckets by the end of the race. The rain was coming down in buckets (= it was raining very heavily). Word Origin Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French buquet
an amount of something that is too small or unimportant to make any real difference to a situation The amount of money raised was a drop in the ocean compared to what we needed. (informal or humorous) to die