noun, often attributive
po·​ta·​to | \ pə-ˈtā-(ˌ)tō, -tə, dialectal pə-ˈdā-, bə- \
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

Pour in stock and simmer until potatoes are very tender, about 25 minutes. Kitty Greenwald, WSJ, "The Most Warming Winter Stew," 16 Nov. 2018 Simmer, covered, until potatoes are tender, about 5 minutes. Redbook Test Kitchen, Redbook, "Potato-Leek Soup," 20 Aug. 2018 Everything else is made to order, from pockets to pizza to calzones to potatoes. Shonda Talerico Dudlicek, Aurora Beacon-News, "Pockets offers a fresh take on sandwiches," 29 May 2018 Since the Dutch oven clambake will be swift-cooking — thanks mostly to parboiled potatoes, a necessary at-home prep step — Mantle joins the revelry, palming a Pacifico. Leilani Marie Labong, San Francisco Chronicle, "Start a tradition with a Bodega beach clambake," 11 May 2018 For the Picadillo: In a shallow bowl, add a ¼ cup of water to the diced potatoes and microwave on high for 3-4 minutes. San Antonio Express-News, "Recipe: Classic Northern Mexico-Style Picadillo," 2 May 2018 South Florida is to Medicare fraud what Idaho is to potatoes and New York City is to complaining. David J. Neal, miamiherald, "What makes Florida the most sinful state? Where do we begin? | Miami Herald," 21 Feb. 2018 In fact, these Crunchy Roasted Parmesan Potatoes are very much the right way to potato. Amy Wang, OregonLive.com, "This stew hits sweet spot where delicious and healthy meet," 20 Feb. 2018 The menu features cheeseburgers, potato salad, peas and carrots, and tropical fruit or a split pea soup, cottage cheese with fruit on romaine, wheat crackers and tropical fruit. Linda Mcintosh, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Blue Star families honored," 13 July 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.

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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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Statistics for potato

Last Updated

13 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for potato

The first known use of potato was in 1565

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More Definitions for potato


po·​ta·​to | \ pə-ˈtā-tō \
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

Comments on potato

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marked by shyness and lack of polish

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