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

Strain half-and-half mixture into the pot with potatoes. Woman's Day Test Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Garlic- and Sage-Infused Mashed Potatoes," 24 Oct. 2018 Disgraced comedian Bill Cosby had meatballs and rice, along with mashed potatoes and green beans as part of his first meal in a state prison after being sentenced three to 10 years on Tuesday, Fox News has learned. Fox News, "Bill Cosby’s first prison meal revealed," 28 Sep. 2018 Among the German specialties are massive Bavarian pretzels, brats, schnitzel, spaetzle, and crispy German potato cakes. Tara Massouleh, AL.com, "How to spend 24 hours in Chattanooga, Tennessee," 25 Apr. 2018 Oyster House’s smoked fish and potato cakes, which can be made with trout, mackerel, or any white fish, are extra-delicious with a poached or fried egg served on top. Elisa Ludwig, Philly.com, "Beyond bagels: The many uses for smoked fish," 24 Apr. 2018 The potatoes can be cooked and cooled up to 1 day ahead. Anna Helm Baxter, Woman's Day, "Lemony Potato Salad," 6 Mar. 2018 Conditions: powder that’d been shredded and left to bake in the sun, aka mashed potatoes. Nick Paumgarten, Outside Online, "Nick Paumgarten on the Thrill of His First Daffy," 11 July 2018 Half a world away, mashed potatoes became serious business. Louisville Courier Journal, The Courier-Journal, "How far are you willing to go for your KFC? This Australian woman is going to jail.," 3 July 2018 Other ideas include granola and yogurt parfaits with fruit and nut toppings, salads, dressings and mashed potatoes. The Washington Post, OregonLive.com, "How to start teaching your kids to cook: an age-appropriate guide," 12 June 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

17 Nov 2018

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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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Comments on potato

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