abbreviation or noun

variants or less commonly Potus
: the president of the United States
often used like a nickname
The Bushes held their first state dinner. POTUS served buffalo meat, wore cowboy boots and welcomed Clint Eastwood.Newsweek

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some other acronyms like POTUS?

The oldest -OTUS ("of the United States") acronym is SCOTUS ("Supreme Court of the United States"), in use since the 1870s. POTUS ("President of the United States") is the second oldest, coming some twenty years after SCOTUS. FLOTUS ("First Lady of the United States") is another, thought to have originated in the 1980s. Less common than these, but still occasionally found, is VPOTUS ("Vice President of the United States").

Is POTUS always capitalized?

The most common form of the word is POTUS, although it is also found as Potus. Less common, and formerly used more frequently in the early 20th century, is potus.

What is the origin of the word POTUS?

POTUS is an acronym created by taking the first letter of each word in "President of the United States." According to our earliest records of its use, it came into being in the 1890s as an abbreviation used by telegraph operators. POTUS was likely based on the slightly older SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States), which had been used by telegraph operators since the 1870s.

Examples of POTUS in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web So far, only Biden’s official POTUS account appears to have toggled Threads’ fediverse integration on. Wes Davis, The Verge, 2 Apr. 2024 Now a feature film starring Nicholas Galitzine as Prince Henry and Taylor Zakhar Perez as POTUS' son Alex Claremont-Diaz, as seen in EW and PEOPLE's exclusive trailer debut (below) for the highly anticipated adaptation. Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, 6 July 2023 Potential variations such as Biden, J. Biden, Joseph Biden and POTUS would all be classified as a vote for Biden because the voter's intention would be to nominate him. Brittany Shepherd, ABC News, 22 Jan. 2024 Basketball star LeBron James is teaming up with former POTUS and FLOTUS, Barack and Michelle Obama and NFL Hall of Famer Peyton Manning to create a sports docuseries. Melissa Noel, Essence, 25 Oct. 2023 While its not entirely clear what incident Dacus is referring to in her response, the former POTUS came under fire during his presidency for his approval of drone warfare and authorizing the use of strikes in Pakistan and Yemen, which ended up killing hundreds of civilians. Rania Aniftos, Billboard, 21 July 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'POTUS.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1894, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of POTUS was in 1894

Dictionary Entries Near POTUS

Cite this Entry

“POTUS.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/POTUS. Accessed 14 Jun. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!