noun, often attributive
po·​ta·​to | \ pə-ˈtā-(ˌ)tō How to pronounce potato (audio) , -tə, dialectal pə-ˈdā-, bə- How to pronounce potato (audio) \
plural potatoes

Definition of potato

2a : an erect South American herb (Solanum tuberosum) of the nightshade family widely cultivated for its edible starchy tuber
b : the tuber of a potato

called also Irish potato, spud, white potato

Illustration of potato

Illustration of potato

potato 2a

Examples of potato in a Sentence

She's growing carrots and potatoes in her garden this year.

Recent Examples on the Web

But from my experience, aloo gobi, which is potatoes (aloo) and cauliflower (gobi) sautéed in onions, turmeric, and a few other spices, can be a soggy, bland letdown. Priya Krishna, Bon Appétit, "The Sneaky, Easy Trick to My Mom’s Perfect Aloo Gobi," 10 June 2019 Bring water to a boil and cook until potatoes are knife tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Laura Rege, Good Housekeeping, "Ranch Potato Salad," 23 May 2019 Soluble fiber’s sister is found in the highest amounts in whole grains (like whole wheat flour and wheat bran), nuts, beans, and some vegetables (like cauliflower, potatoes, and green beans), according to the Mayo Clinic. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "What’s the Difference Between Soluble and Insoluble Fiber?," 15 May 2019 Let those notes of butter, potato, apple, cake, vanilla, and musk make Hanukkah last well after those eith nights and long into the new year. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "This Homesick Hanukkah Candle Legit Smells Like Potato Latkes And A Hint Of Jelly Donuts," 4 Dec. 2018 Here's his audition tape, in the form of a two-minute-and-11-seconds-long clip of him [checks notes again] basting a turkey, mashing potatoes, and applying whipped cream to pumpkin pie. Ella Cerón, Teen Vogue, "Gavin Leatherwood Bastes a Turkey in Netflix's Thanksgiving Spot," 21 Nov. 2018 Accompanying the meat were vegetables, such as carrots, parsnips, fingerling potatoes, cauliflower and broccoli rabe. Lauren Delgado, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Enzo's Hideaway offers Italian fare paired with prohibition-style cocktails," 14 July 2018 Founded in 1989, McAlister’s Deli is a restaurant chain known for sandwiches, baked potatoes, soups, salads and desserts. Jennie Key, Cincinnati.com, "Lots of options: West Siders have eat-out options and more are coming," 13 July 2018 One of the most popular items is Mike's potatoes, which get a kick from his own seasoning. Donald Liebenson, Lake County News-Sun, "Love of breakfast leads chef to open Cafe Pettopia," 22 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'potato.' 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 potato

1565, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for potato

Spanish batata, from Taino

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about potato

Statistics for potato

Last Updated

16 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for potato

The first known use of potato was in 1565

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for potato


po·​ta·​to | \ pə-ˈtā-tō How to pronounce potato (audio) \
plural potatoes

Kids Definition of potato

: the thick edible usually rounded underground tuber of a widely grown South American plant that is eaten as a vegetable

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on potato

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with potato

Spanish Central: Translation of potato

Nglish: Translation of potato for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of potato for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about potato

Comments on potato

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


to take the place or position of

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


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!