pocket veto

a veto of a bill brought about by the president's failure to sign it within ten days of the adjournment of Congress.
a similar action on the part of any legislative executive.

1835–45, Americanism

Dictionary.com Unabridged


verb (used with object), pocket-vetoed, pocket-vetoing.
to veto (a bill) by exercising a pocket veto.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
pocket veto
1.  the action of the President in retaining unsigned a bill passed by Congress within the last ten days of a session and thus causing it to die
2.  any similar action by a state governor or other chief executive

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

pocket veto definition

An automatic veto of a bill that occurs if the president or governor neither signs nor vetoes a bill within ten days of receiving it — as long as the legislature adjourns during that period. If the legislature convenes during that period, the bill will automatically become law. A pocket veto cannot be overridden by the legislature, though the bill can be reintroduced at the next legislative session.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

pocket veto

The implied veto of a bill by the President of the United States or by a state governor or other executive who simply holds the bill without signing it until the legislature has adjourned. For example, The President used the pocket veto to kill the crime bill. This expression dates from the 1830s and alludes to putting the unsigned bill inside one's pocket.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
There is no evidence that any such pocket veto was used to frustrate an appeal here.
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