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 Despite the meal refusals, Rose said Smith did eat a bag of potato chips and had one Coke to drink during his visitation. Tandra Smith | Tsmith@al.com, al, "Alabama may execute its first inmate tonight since pandemic began," 12 Feb. 2021 There are also, crucially, chocolate coated potato chips. Mackenzie Chung Fegan, Bon Appétit, "The Best Chocolates To Buy Online Right Now," 2 Feb. 2021 Her precision technique sounds like mashing potato chips and tearing paper at the same time. Kevin Spear, USA TODAY, "'They won't have to separate from ... family': Florida attraction to get glass-bottom boat for wheelchairs," 25 Jan. 2021 Boil until the potatoes are soft, about 10 minutes, then drain, transfer to a large bowl and mash with a potato masher. Jessica Battilana, SFChronicle.com, "This savory meat pie is a cheery indulgence for Christmas Eve," 18 Dec. 2020 This handy device forces potatoes or other ingredients through a grid for light and fluffy results unachievable with a traditional potato masher. Paul Stephen, ExpressNews.com, "8 gifts for the foodie on your holiday shopping list," 25 Nov. 2020 Remove from the oven and, using a potato masher or large fork, coarsely mash the cranberries. Washington Post, "Tart roasted cranberries and a billowy meringue topping take this pie in a bright, bold direction," 12 Nov. 2020 Add canned tomatoes — if using whole, crush with hands or a potato masher — Creole seasoning, cayenne, thyme, oregano, bay leaf and lemon juice; stir to combine. Kim Sunée, Anchorage Daily News, "Use whatever Alaska seafood you have on hand for this Creole dish," 29 Oct. 2020 Mash vegetables in the pot with a potato masher or fork. Alex Darus, cleveland, "8 soup recipes to learn before cold weather hits," 14 Oct. 2020

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

20 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Potato.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/potato. Accessed 25 Feb. 2021.

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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

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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