plural poi or pois
: a Hawaiian food prepared from the cooked corms of taro that are mashed with water to the consistency of a paste or thick liquid and often allowed to ferment

Examples of poi in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web At that same moment, back near the soundboard, a handful of woodland raver types were twirling the latest in glowstick technology in chemiluminescent figure-eights, proving, perhaps for the first time ever, that circle-pitting and LED poi are not mutually exclusive practices. Washington Post, 29 Sep. 2021 There are no tiki drinks or recipes for kalua pork or poi. Washington Post, 10 Dec. 2021 The Italian literary critic Pietro Citati, author of superb studies of Goethe, Kafka, and Proust, published a novel in 1989 called Storia prima felice, poi dolentissima e funesta (Happy at First, But Very Sad and Tragic at the End). John Banville, The New York Review of Books, 24 Mar. 2020 What to Do Stroll along postcard-perfect Waikiki Beach to admire the hula dancers and poi spinners, or take a dip in the warm water, which hovers around 77 degrees in the winter and 82 degrees in the summer. Sunset Magazine, 21 Mar. 2020 Taro farmers across the islands have sent poi to feed the protesters, in solidarity. Ligaya Mishan, New York Times, 8 Nov. 2019 Pre-show activities include grinding taro root (the chief ingredient in poi), making bracelets from fresh flowers, and getting temporary tattoos. Arthur Levine, USA TODAY, 8 June 2018 The perfect taro is heavy and dense and mashes into smooth poi. Washington Post, 28 May 2018 Dinner is a pig roast, roasted pineapple, Hawaiian poi and tuna poke. Kathy Flanigan, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 10 May 2018 See More

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

Word History


Hawaiian & Samoan

First Known Use

1782, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of poi was in 1782

Dictionary Entries Near poi

Cite this Entry

“Poi.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


plural poi or pois
: a Hawaiian food made of cooked taro root pounded to a paste and often fermented

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