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 Kind-of Ajiaco Serves 4 to 6 Ajiaco is a hearty and glorious Colombian chicken soup made with starchy potatoes and milky corncobs to naturally thicken the broth. Julia Clancy, SFChronicle.com, "Necessary chicken soup: one method, three recipes," 5 Feb. 2020 Most chips are made with specialty potatoes bred for a low-sugar content. Kathy Flanigan, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "What happened to historical Midwest potato chip brands? Some of them have survived — sort of.," 30 Jan. 2020 Cookies for a Cause A post-wedding lunch on the church’s lower level included marinated chicken breast with potatoes; cookies were from Haley House, a local soup kitchen. New York Times, "Bound by Their Boston Neighborhood," 20 Jan. 2020 Sides are simple but flavorful, like smashed cucumbers with caraway vinaigrette, shredded carrots with orange and coriander, and potatoes roasted in the schmaltzy drippings from the chicken. Ellen Fort, Sunset Magazine, "Juicy Rotisserie Chicken Spot from L.A.’s Kismet Team Is Now Open," 17 Jan. 2020 These savory pancakes are made with shredded potatoes, onions, eggs, and cooked in a generous amount of oil. Katie Workman, NBC News, "Not just latkes: A Hanukkah dinner the whole family will love," 21 Dec. 2019 Getty Images It’s the day after Thanksgiving, the tryptophan has worn off, and there are towers of Tupperware filled with turkey, stuffing and potatoes in your fridge. Samantha Presnal, Quartzy, "Thanksgiving leftovers can be an outlet for creativity," 29 Nov. 2019 So, what are the odds the conversation stays with mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie? Philip Elliott, Time, "Why Impeachment Makes for Bad Thanksgiving Dinner Conversation," 25 Nov. 2019 Meal includes an 8-ounce top sirloin with mashed potatoes, fresh broccoli with garlic butter and a non-alcoholic beverage. Chris Sims, Indianapolis Star, "Here are more than 150 Veterans Day deals for the Nov. 11 holiday," 11 Nov. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of potato

1565, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for potato

Spanish batata, from Taino

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Time Traveler for potato

Time Traveler

The first known use of potato was in 1565

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Statistics for potato

Last Updated

10 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Potato.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/potato. Accessed 20 Feb. 2020.

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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

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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

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