American English

Definition of bucket noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1(also pail) [countable] an open container with a handle, used for carrying or holding liquids, sand, etc. a plastic bucket Get the mop and bucket—I just spilled water all over the floor.
  2. 2[countable] a large container that is part of a crane or digger, and is used for lifting things
  3. 3(also bucketful
    , pail, pailful)
    [countable] the amount contained in a bucket two buckets/bucketfuls of water They used to drink coffee by the bucket/bucketful (= in large quantities).
  4. 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).
  5. Idioms
    a drop in the bucket
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    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 bucket compared to what we needed.
    kick the bucket (informal or humorous)
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    to die