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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
pail
noun
EXAMPLES FROM OTHER ENTRIES
▪ a pailful of water
▪ a diaper pail
EXAMPLES FROM CORPUS
▪ A pail lifted, still and brimming - mirror To tempt a first star to a tremor.
▪ At that moment, there came a nearby clatter of mops and pails.
▪ It was a community that drank out of the beer pail and ate out of the lunch bucket.
▪ Life clangs and swings and scrapes with all these buckets and pails.
▪ Sheet steel is used in applications ranging from pails to car hoods.
▪ There were monthly pails of bloody white rags soaking.
▪ They filled their pail and container, and started the return journey.
The Collaborative International Dictionary
Pail

Pail \Pail\ (p[=a]l), n. [OE. paile, AS. p[ae]gel a wine vessel, a pail, akin to D. & G. pegel a watermark, a gauge rod, a measure of wine, Dan. p[ae]gel half a pint.] A vessel of wood or tin, etc., usually cylindrical and having a bail, -- used esp. for carrying liquids, as water or milk, etc.; a bucket. It may, or may not, have a cover.
--Shak.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary
pail

mid-14c., of uncertain origin, probably from Old French paele, paelle "cooking or frying pan, warming pan;" also a liquid measure, from Latin patella "small pan, little dish, platter," diminutive of patina "broad shallow pan, stewpan" (see pan (n.)).\n

\nOld English had pægel "wine vessel," but etymology does not support a connection. This Old English word possibly is from Medieval Latin pagella "a measure," from Latin pagella "column," diminutive of pagina (see page (n.1)).

Wiktionary
pail

n. 1 A vessel of wood, tin, plastic, etc., usually cylindrical and having a handle -- used especially for carrying liquids, for example water or milk; a bucket ''(sometimes with a cover)''. 2 (In technical use) A closed (covered) cylindrical shipping container.

WordNet
pail
  1. n. a roughly cylindrical that is vessel open at the top [syn: bucket]

  2. the quantity contained in a pail [syn: pailful]

Wikipedia
Pail

Pail may refer to:

  • Bucket with an open top and a handle
  • Pail (container) with a top and a handle
Pail (container)

A pail is a technical term, used in the shipping industry, to designate a type of cylindrical shipping container with a capacity of about 1 to 12 gal (3 to 50 L). It can have straight or slanted sides and usually has a handle or bail.

The non-technical meaning is identical to bucket.

Usage examples of "pail".

I guess Elnora was ashamed all right, for to-night she stopped at the old case Duncan gave her, and took out that pail, where it had been all day, and put a napkin inside it.

Ashy into one beautiful palace, among great flower-gardens, where the school children will sit and sing such merry hymns, and never struggle with great pails of water up the hill of Ashy any more.

With a pounding heart, Maia pulled the bandanna down further, picked up the food pails, and stepped out of the dim room.

A single truck clattered down the road and a man in blue denim walked toward the creamery carrying a lunch pail, otherwise it was as if he had the whole world to himself.

Squealing with delight, Eppie scooped the crawdad out of the water and dropped it into the pail with one fluid motion.

Crimson burned to orange, orange to dull gold, and in a golden glitter the sun came up, dribbling fierily over the waves in little splashes, as if someone had gone along and the light had spilled from her pail as she walked.

The woman with the headkerchief set down her garbage pail beside the stoop.

The dirty water was thrown out as the rotund cook came huffing and heaving with a fresh pail to fill the basin.

Cautiously looking over the edge of the loft, he saw Inga Tollefson enter the barn, carrying her milk pail.

Nor did he notice that, when they realized he was not Inga with the milk pail, they curled up in their original positions, disregarding him lying below them.

Everything was as it should be: the strong smell of sunflowers and ironweed in the dew, the clear blue and gold of the sky, the evening star, the purr of the milk into the pails, the grunts and squeals of the pigs fighting over their supper.

Jack lunged up, grabbed the handle of the pail, then lurched away from the wall, Jiff y bags tumbling about him.

When they conducted the preliminary search that first evening, however, the police had discovered two mops and an empty pail outside.

They fed dying heifers hot pails of coffee, mercifully they shot dogs thinned by the nagana to sad bags of bones.

Along the sloping corridor men stood at intervals, a bucket brigade that passed along empty pails as Quade sent up Promethean-filled ones.