potboiler was our Word of the Day on 06/13/2009. Hear the podcast!
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
Recent Examples of potboiler from the Web
An almost unrelievedly grim potboiler that milks the tragedy surrounding its central character, Magda Sorel, for maximum bathos.
This sounds like the plot of a Hollywood thriller or a paperback potboiler in which the world is heading for conflagration.
Yet, his movies feel like more than just cliché potboilers.
The abduction and detention in China in 2015 of five Hong Kong booksellers who produced potboilers about Communist Party leaders served as a warning that residents could be seized with little public protest from the city authorities.
Inconceivable: A potboiler about a mysterious young woman trying to destroy a family.
Potboilers, sensationalism, lurid crime: Taste was not an obstacle for Putnam.
But if the plot has too many potboiler elements, the characters are considerably more convincing in their disturbed emotions.
In the American phase of his career, Mr. Verhoeven, who started out in the Netherlands, was a blockbuster sleight-of-hand artist, disguising pungent, politically tinged satires as noisy sci-fi action movies and overheated potboilers.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'potboiler.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
Potboiler draws its meaning from what was once the heartbeat of the home, the hearth and its boiling pot. In the days before modern conveniences, it was essential to maintain a fire within a home's hearth for warmth and domestic activities. In order "to make the pot boil" or "to keep the pot boiling" for cooking, one needed fuel, and to acquire fuel one typically needed an income. When artistic and literary works, especially inferior ones, became the means of keeping the pot boiling in some homes during the 19th century, it didn't take long for the literati to criticize such works as insignificant potboilers.
First Known Use of potboiler
POTBOILER Defined for English Language Learners
Learn More about potboiler
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up potboiler? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).