potable

1 of 2

adjective

po·​ta·​ble ˈpō-tə-bəl How to pronounce potable (audio)
 military often  ˈpä-
: suitable for drinking
potability noun
potableness
ˈpō-tə-bəl-nəs How to pronounce potable (audio)
 military often  ˈpä-
noun

potable

2 of 2

noun

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

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Example Sentences

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
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
Quickly forget any bottle outside of this narrow range—anything cheaper is non-potable swill; anything more expensive, and the wine is too nice ever to drink. Nate Odenkirk, The New Yorker, 6 May 2022 Other ingredients were less potable: camphor and quicklime, varnish and vinegar. The New York Times, Arkansas Online, 10 Oct. 2021 Kessler, who heads up the Coachella Valley Golf and Water Task Force, said much of the water used to irrigate golf courses is non-potable. Steve Lopez Columnist, Los Angeles Times, 9 Oct. 2021 At the Sweet Water Foundation in Washington Park-Englewood, Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle has built a highly functional take on minimalist sculpture: an elegant hydrant to deliver free and potable water for the organization’s farm plots. Lori Waxman, chicagotribune.com, 24 Sep. 2021 Wastewater or sewage has been recycled for decades for irrigation and other non-potable uses. Phil Diehl, San Diego Union-Tribune, 6 Aug. 2021 Secondary water is a water source that’s not treated and non-potable. Bryan Schott, The Salt Lake Tribune, 30 July 2021 Or it may instead be used for non-potable purposes, like for agriculture or industrial processes. Matt Simon, Wired, 7 July 2021 City spokeswoman Michelle Atoa said the city provided over 26,500 bottles of water and around 7,000 gallons of non-potable water. Sarah Haselhorst, USA TODAY, 9 Mar. 2021
Noun
The tribe swaps some of that water back to the park service in exchange for potable water. AZCentral.com, 8 Aug. 2022 The Carlsbad seawater desalination plant provides about 10 percent of the potable water consumed in San Diego County under the company’s contract with the San Diego County Water Authority. Phil Diehl, San Diego Union-Tribune, 8 Aug. 2022 Fueled by climate change, drought has exacerbated heat and shortages of potable water, according to an audit of the California State Water Resources Control Board released last week. Rebecca Schneid, Los Angeles Times, 1 Aug. 2022 While recycled water currently is used for non-drinking uses, it can be further purified and used as potable water. Sasha Hupka, The Arizona Republic, 5 July 2022 Ensure that your campground has potable water or bring your own, including extra. Erin E. Williams, BostonGlobe.com, 10 July 2022 Ensure that your campground has potable water or bring your own, including extra. Erin E. Williams, Washington Post, 7 July 2022 Taps ran dry in parts of Kwanobuhle in March, and since then, thousands of residents have been relying on a single communal tap to supply their households with potable water. CNN, 20 June 2022 Gaza’s water is not drinkable with little chance of conversion into potable water. Doris Bittar, San Diego Union-Tribune, 14 June 2022 See More

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.

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Word History

Etymology

Adjective

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

First Known Use

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun

circa 1625, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near potable

Cite this Entry

“Potable.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/potable. Accessed 17 Aug. 2022.

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Medical Definition

potable

1 of 2 adjective
po·​ta·​ble ˈpōt-ə-bəl How to pronounce potable (audio)
: suitable for drinking
potable water

potable

2 of 2 noun
: a liquid that is suitable for drinking
especially : an alcoholic beverage

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