potato blight

noun

: any of several destructive fungus diseases of the potato

Examples of potato blight in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web His work on the effects of the 1840s potato blight that caused famine in Ireland, and saw Boston’s demographics change dramatically in just a few years, was especially compelling. Kevin Cullen, BostonGlobe.com, 4 Apr. 2023 The famine was due to potato blight—a fungus that caused the degeneration of potato crops across the country, which was essentially the only crop Irish farmers could grow. Diego Lasarte, Quartz, 16 Mar. 2023 In Ireland in the eighteen-forties, a potato blight caused by the parasitic pathogen Phytophthora infestans resulted in a famine that killed around a million people and led nearly two million more to emigrate. Jerome Groopman, The New Yorker, 5 Dec. 2022 The Great Hunger began with potato blight, which destroyed Ireland’s dominant crop. Susan Dunne, courant.com, 28 Oct. 2021 In the 1840s, Reverend Miles Berkeley, also a botanist, identified the fungus behind Ireland’s potato blight, despite the clergy’s notion that the devil was to blame. Theresa MacHemer, Smithsonian Magazine, 24 Mar. 2020 The potato blight affected all of Europe, but government mismanagement resulted in catastrophe for the then British colony of Ireland. Carmel Mc Mahon, Longreads, 13 Nov. 2019 Most potatoes grown in Ireland were of a single variety, the Irish Lumper, which had no inherent resistance to Phytophthora infestans, the microorganism that causes potato blight. Debal Deb, Scientific American, 16 Oct. 2019 Patrick Kennedy left Ireland in 1848 to escape starvation brought on by the potato blight. Kevin Cullen, BostonGlobe.com, 3 Aug. 2019 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'potato blight.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1845, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of potato blight was in 1845

Dictionary Entries Near potato blight

Cite this Entry

“Potato blight.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/potato%20blight. Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on potato blight

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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