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

Layer half of the potatoes and half of the scallions in prepared baking dish. Teri Mena, sacbee, "Here’s a cheesy and easy option," 3 July 2018 The menu will consist of small steaks at $9 or large steaks at $17, served with baked potato, vegetable, salad, and roll, as well as fish and chips at $10 and baked haddock at $11. Courant Community, "Community News For The Putnam-Killingly Edition," 10 July 2018 Spun out from the food giant ConAgra in 2016, Lamb Weston’s business is all about potatoes, with manufacturing operations focused in the Pacific Northwest. Rachel Abrams, The Seattle Times, "Out of the fryer and into the Uber car: Idaho-based Lamb Weston trying to deliver crispy fries," 3 July 2018 Couillon even grows his own potatoes, the prized Bonnotte variety. Mary Winston Nicklin, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Small Island Where the Tour de France Begins Is Actually a Vacationer's Paradise," 3 July 2018 This brought me to the wonderfully honest children’s book of the same name by Michael Ian Black and Debbie Ridpath Ohi, starring a little girl, a potato, and a sad flamingo. The Editors, Outside Online, "Step Up Your Car Camping Game," 1 July 2018 Choose from selections like the LGO reserve short rib tacos ($19), green chile burger ($15) and roasted jidori chicken with market vegetables or colcannon potato ($25). Georgann Yara, azcentral, "Happy birthday, America! 35 restaurants celebrating with Fourth of July food, drink deals," 29 June 2018 She was forced to move with her family in 1941 to a Jewish ghetto with only a sack of potatoes, some flour and a few belongings. Danica Kirka, Washington Post, "Gena Turgel, Holocaust survivor who cared for Anne Frank, dies at 95," 14 June 2018 Place potatoes in a large pot; cover with cold salted water. Kristina Kurek, Country Living, "Creamy Potato Salad," 13 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

6 Oct 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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