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 Rounding out the variety is Sweet Ali’s Gluten Free Bakery, and YiaYia’s, a Greek breakfast cafe serving up loaded potato pancakes and chicken and waffle bites. Zareen Syed, chicagotribune.com, "Hinsdale Restaurant Week returns May 14 with diverse lineup of casual to fine dining options," 10 May 2021 When Shahir Massoud was growing up in Toronto, summer gatherings inevitably included potato salads, made by his mother and the other women in the family and community. Washington Post, "Egyptian potato salad gets a modern twist from black lentils, buttery fingerlings and garlicky labneh," 9 May 2021 Grumpy Dog’s menu is a junk-food lover’s dream, with hot dogs that boast fixings such as pimento cheese, chili, coleslaw, onions, potato sticks and sauerkraut. Mary Colurso | Mcolurso@al.com, al, "Things to see and do in Wetumpka, the Alabama city featured on ‘Home Town Takeover’," 6 May 2021 Fry or broil the vegetables (minus tomatoes and some potato slices). Priscilla Totiyapungprasert, The Arizona Republic, "How to make maqluba, a centuries-old dish, like this Palestinian family does in Phoenix," 26 Apr. 2021 Organic chicken is coated in a potato-chip batter before taking a dip in the fryer, and then served on a slightly sweet housemade brioche bun with tomato, onion and lettuce. Nicole Hvidsten, Star Tribune, "5 best things our food writers ate in the Twin Cities this week," 23 Apr. 2021 For example, attach the grating lid onto a clear container to be able to grate your carrots right into the container, or use the slicer to prepare potatoes for saucing up into a cheesy potato casserole. Kaitlyn Yarborough, Southern Living, "Amazon Shoppers Hail This Meal-Prepping Station a “Time-Saving, All-in-One Kitchen Accessory”," 20 Apr. 2021 Due to the potato famine, Connecticut’s Irish population exploded from 10% in 1850 to 25% in 1870, Connecticut Magazine reported. Jesse Leavenworth, courant.com, "Glastonbury’s Irish American Home in financial straits due to COVID," 20 Apr. 2021 Additionally, their Miami Smash Burger is my favorite kind of cheeseburger: gooey with Swiss and a runny fried egg, bonus for caramelized onions and potato sticks for crunch. Amy Drew Thompson, orlandosentinel.com, "Best Food Truck: 2021 Orlando Sentinel Foodie Awards," 26 Feb. 2021

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

15 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Potato.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/potato. Accessed 16 May. 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

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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