po·​ta·​ble | \ ˈpō-tə-bəl How to pronounce potable (audio) , military often ˈpä- \

Definition of potable

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: suitable for drinking



Definition of potable (Entry 2 of 2)

: a liquid that is suitable for drinking especially : an alcoholic beverage

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from potable


potability \ ˌpō-​tə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce potability (audio) \ noun
potableness \ ˈpō-​tə-​bəl-​nəs How to pronounce potableness (audio) , military often  ˈpä-​ \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for potable

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Noun

  • nonintoxicant
Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of potable in a Sentence

Adjective around here, the only potable water comes from wells Noun hid the potables in the back hall closet keeps the wet bar stocked with an array of top-shelf liquors, mixers, and other fine potables
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Low-income black neighborhoods are often disproportionately impacted by a lack of potable water and higher levels of environmental toxins and air pollution. Sabrina Strings, Scientific American, "The Racist Roots of Fighting Obesity," 4 June 2020 Rahi and Brother are an altruistic man-robot duo who earned galaxy-wide celebrity distributing potable water and farmable land to those in need. Cecilia D'anastasio, Wired, "Amazon's Crucible Magicks Gaming Clichés Into Something Fresh," 27 May 2020 Brazil's Congress passed an emergency plan for indigenous communities last week that would not only provide medical equipment and field hospitals but also potable water and food supplies that allow tribes to isolate themselves. Shasta Darlington, Jose Brito, And Flora Charner, CNN, "Report: Brazil's indigenous people are dying at an alarming rate from Covid-19," 23 May 2020 There water ice seems to exist in abundance, ripe for extraction and conversion into oxygen, potable water and even rocket fuel. Leonard David, Scientific American, "NASA Proposes New Rules for Moon-Focused Space Race," 21 May 2020 From there, the lake would be allowed to fill naturally, unless no rain is forecast in which case potable water would be used to fill the lake. Jon Arnold, Dallas News, "Mesquite fish, turtles get new home during Palos Verdes Lake Dam project," 27 Apr. 2020 This new water-bottle filter borrows from the French press approach to ditch the straw and hand-pump systems for a push-press that will turn creek and lake water into 24-ounces of clean, potable water in 8 seconds. T. Edward Nickens, Field & Stream, "11 Things to Take on a Canoe Camping Trip," 13 Apr. 2020 Madison Campground is home to 278 total sites; seasonal amenities include potable water, flush toilets, firewood and ice for sale, an on-site staff member or volunteer host, food storage lockers, trash and recycling collection services, and more. Skye Sherman, Travel + Leisure, "Your Guide to Camping in Yellowstone National Park," 12 Apr. 2020 The returnees, some surely infected with the coronavirus when in Iran, cluster shoulder to shoulder in massive crowds on both sides of the crossing, where toilet facilities are primitive and soap and potable water are scarce. David Zucchino, New York Times, "Fresh From Iran’s Coronavirus Zone, Now Moving Across Afghanistan," 26 Mar. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Low-income black neighborhoods are often disproportionately impacted by a lack of potable water and higher levels of environmental toxins and air pollution. Sabrina Strings, Scientific American, "The Racist Roots of Fighting Obesity," 4 June 2020 Geopress by Grayl Hand-pump purifiers are slow, ache-inducing gadgets that can take one minute to produce about 2.5 quarts of potable water. Popular Science, "The 10 most thrilling recreation innovations of 2019," 3 Dec. 2019 The deal still lets the company withdraw groundwater if there’s a shortfall, when conducting maintenance, or when demand exceeds available potable or storm water supplies during peak user activity. Time, "The Secret Cost of Google's Data Centers: Billions of Gallons of Water to Cool Servers," 2 Apr. 2020 By serving only Tequilas made from 100 percent agave, Bermejo treats his patrons to intoxication as well as a show, a potable chronicling of the life and afterlife of the agave itself. Ali Bouzari, SFChronicle.com, "Housemade: How Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant highlights quality Tequila in its margaritas," 30 Dec. 2019 According to the Public Authority for Water, the desalination plants supply 86% of Oman’s potable water. Ian James, azcentral, "Ancient aqueducts in Oman imperiled by modern wells and climate change," 28 Nov. 2019 But finding out whether the water is potable at your destination might be difficult, and most tap water looks fine to drink. Washington Post, "Is the water safe to drink? You better make sure before you try it.," 17 Oct. 2019 The trout and chubs will forage and lounge in a sanctuary of potable and treated water contoured with pools, riffles and waterfalls designed by biologists at Stillwater Sciences, a consulting firm. Los Angeles Times, "South Gate charts new course to rear native fish that thrived before L.A.’s explosive growth," 17 Sep. 2019 University Hall is designed to achieve 9.1 percent additional energy cost savings, with water conservancy efforts reducing potable, indoor water use by 35 percent, according to UAB. Ivana Hrynkiw | Ihrynkiw@al.com, al, "New UAB College of Arts and Sciences opens for fall semester," 15 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'potable.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of potable


15th century, in the meaning defined above


circa 1625, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for potable


Middle English, from Late Latin potabilis, from Latin potare to drink; akin to Latin bibere to drink, Greek pinein

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about potable

Time Traveler for potable

Time Traveler

The first known use of potable was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for potable

Last Updated

9 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Potable.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/potable. Accessed 5 Jul. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for potable


How to pronounce potable (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of potable

technical : safe to drink


po·​ta·​ble | \ ˈpōt-ə-bəl How to pronounce potable (audio) \

Medical Definition of potable

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: suitable for drinking potable water



Medical Definition of potable (Entry 2 of 2)

: a liquid that is suitable for drinking especially : an alcoholic beverage

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on potable

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for potable

Spanish Central: Translation of potable

Nglish: Translation of potable for Spanish Speakers

Comments on potable

What made you want to look up potable? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A More Exception(al) Quiz

  • hot dog  hot dog  hot dog  hot dog cat
  • Which of the following words is not a synonym for ‘a young person’?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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