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 Ask for the chef’s special for an amazing off the menu treat that pairs a traditional omelette with potato chips and cheese. Raval Davis, Forbes, "A ‘Staycation’ May Be The Break Your Mental Health Needs During The Pandemic: The Moxy East Village Delivers," 1 Mar. 2021 While the 22-year-old was named to his second All-Star team and his commercials for Ruffles potato chips debuted, the Celtics are mired in perhaps the worst slump of his career. Gary Washburn, BostonGlobe.com, "Jayson Tatum growing his brand, but he wants team success first," 27 Feb. 2021 The wavier potato chips add complexity to the crunch. Matt Wake | Mwake@al.com, al, "These Irish nachos are a new Huntsville appetizer to know," 15 Feb. 2021 Officers found the man eating potato chips and sitting next to an empty can of beer. cleveland, "Drunk man strikes RTA bus with his hand: Fairview Park Police Blotter," 21 Jan. 2021 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

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

4 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Potato.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/potato. Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

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

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Who Knew?

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!