1. a natural or artificial place where water is collected and stored for use, especially water for supplying a community, irrigating land, furnishing power, etc.
  2. a receptacle or chamber for holding a liquid or fluid.
  3. Geology. See under pool1(def 6).
  4. Biology. a cavity or part that holds some fluid or secretion.
  5. a place where anything is collected or accumulated in great amount.
  6. a large or extra supply or stock; reserve: a reservoir of knowledge.


  1. a small body of standing water; pond.
  2. a still, deep place in a stream.
  3. any small collection of liquid on a surface: a pool of blood.
  4. a puddle.
  5. swimming pool.
  6. a subterranean accumulation of oil or gas held in porous and permeable sedimentary rock (reservoir).

verb (used without object)

  1. to form a pool.
  2. (of blood) to accumulate in a body part or organ.

verb (used with object)

  1. to cause pools to form in.
  2. to cause (blood) to form pools.


  1. of or for a pool: pool filters.
  2. taking place or occurring around or near a pool: a pool party.


  1. a natural or artificial lake or large tank used for collecting and storing water, esp for community water supplies or irrigation
  2. a receptacle for storing gas, esp one attached to a stove
  3. biology a vacuole or cavity in an organism, containing a secretion or some other fluid
  4. anatomy another name for cisterna
  5. a place where a great stock of anything is accumulated
  6. a large supply of something; reservea reservoir of talent


  1. a small body of still water, usually fresh; small pond
  2. a small isolated collection of liquid spilt or poured on a surface; puddlea pool of blood
  3. a deep part of a stream or river where the water runs very slowly
  4. an underground accumulation of oil or gas, usually forming a reservoir in porous sedimentary rock
  5. See swimming pool


  1. any communal combination of resources, funds, etca typing pool
  2. the combined stakes of the betters in many gambling sports or games; kitty
  3. commerce a group of producers who conspire to establish and maintain output levels and high prices, each member of the group being allocated a maximum quota; price ring
  4. finance, mainly US
    1. a joint fund organized by security-holders for speculative or manipulative purposes on financial markets
    2. the persons or parties involved in such a combination
  5. any of various billiard games in which the object is to pot all the balls with the cue ball, esp that played with 15 coloured and numbered balls; pocket billiards

verb (tr)

  1. to combine (investments, money, interests, etc) into a common fund, as for a joint enterprise
  2. commerce to organize a pool of (enterprises)
  3. Australian informal to inform on or incriminate (someone)

1680s, “a place where something tends to collect,” originally figurative, from French réservoir “storehouse,” from Old French reserver “to reserve” (see reserve (n.)). Specific meaning “artificial basin to collect and store a large body of water” is from 1705.


“small body of water,” Old English pol “small body of water; deep, still place in a river,” from West Germanic *pol- (cf. Old Frisian and Middle Low German pol, Dutch poel, Old High German pfuol, German Pfuhl). As a short form of swimming pool it is recorded from 1901. Pool party is from 1965.


game similar to billiards, 1848, originally (1690s) a card game played for collective stakes (a “pool”), from French poule “stakes, booty, plunder,” literally “hen,” from Old French poille “hen, young fowl” (see foal (n.)).

Perhaps the original notion is from jeu de la poule, supposedly a game in which people threw things at a chicken and the player who hit it, won it, which speaks volumes about life in the Middle Ages. The notion behind the word, then, is “playing for money.” The connection of “hen” and “stakes” is also present in Spanish polla and Walloon paie.

Meaning “collective stakes” in betting first recorded 1869; sense of “common reservoir of resources” is from 1917. Meaning “group of persons who share duties or skills” is from 1928. From 1933 as short for football pool in wagering. Pool shark is from 1898. The phrase dirty pool “underhanded or unsportsmanlike conduct,” especially in politics (1951), seems to belong here now, but the phrase dirty pool of politics, with an image of pool (n.1) is recorded from 1871 and was in use early 20c.


“to make a common interest, put things into a pool,” 1871, from pool (n.2). Related: Pooled; pooling.


of liquid, “to form a pool or pools,” 1620s, from pool (n.1).


  1. A collection of blood in any region of the body due to dilation and retardation of the circulation in capillaries and veins.


  1. A fluid-containing sac or cavity.
  2. An organism or a population that directly or indirectly transmits a pathogen while being virtually immune to its effects.
  3. A large or extra supply; a reserve.

  1. A natural or artificial pond or lake used for the storage of water.
  2. An underground mass of rock or sediment that is porous and permeable enough to allow oil or natural gas to accumulate in it.
  3. An organism that is the host for a parasitic pathogen or that directly or indirectly transmits a pathogen to which it is immune.
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