pot·​hole | \ ˈpät-ˌhōl How to pronounce pothole (audio) \

Definition of pothole

1a : a circular hole formed in the rocky bed of a river by the grinding action of stones or gravel whirled round by the water
b : a sizable rounded often water-filled depression in land
2 : a pot-shaped hole in a road surface
3 : a usually minor difficulty or setback hit a pothole in her comeback attempt

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Other Words from pothole

potholed \ ˈpät-​ˌhōld How to pronounce pothole (audio) \ adjective

Examples of pothole in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Often, tires are damaged by running over a pothole or rubbing against a curb while parking, Edmonds says. Nerd Wallet, oregonlive, "5 situations in which drivers should check their tires," 27 Dec. 2020 Often, tires are damaged by running over a pothole or rubbing against a curb while parking, Edmonds says. Nerd Wallet, cleveland, "Tire care basics: 5 times you might need new tires," 9 Jan. 2021 With two weeks left in the regular season and a playoff berth still to be secured, Sunday’s game against the visiting New York Giants (5-9) could be a pothole. Jonas Shaffer, baltimoresun.com, "The Ravens offense has dominated since Lamar Jackson’s return. Will the good times last?," 25 Dec. 2020 With its culture of listening, Trek steered right around the potential pothole. Fortune, "How Trek Bicycles has kept a great culture rolling in a fast-moving 2020," 23 Nov. 2020 The Dolphins finally hit a pothole on their push for the playoffs, losing to an underdog Broncos team who brutishly controlled both sides of the line of scrimmage. Kenny Rosarion, sun-sentinel.com, "Instant Analysis: Denver Broncos 20, Miami Dolphins 13," 22 Nov. 2020 Always sneak up on a pothole from the upwind side—that is, with the wind behind you. Field & Stream, "F&S Classics: Tap’s Tips," 20 Nov. 2020 My confidence in magnetic key holders isn’t great, especially in the northeast where the noble pothole is on every state crest. Andrew Northshield, Popular Mechanics, "How to Get Keys Out of a Locked Car," 19 Nov. 2020 The first games were played at the end of July, but the season hit a pothole within days when both the Marlins and the Cardinals had to contend with Covid-19 outbreaks. NBC News, "As the World Series begins, here's how baseball pulled off its pandemic season," 20 Oct. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pothole.' 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 pothole

1826, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for pothole

Time Traveler

The first known use of pothole was in 1826

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Statistics for pothole

Last Updated

6 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Pothole.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pothole. Accessed 26 Feb. 2021.

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More Definitions for pothole



English Language Learners Definition of pothole

: a deep, round hole in a road or some other surface (such as the bottom of a river)


pot·​hole | \ ˈpät-ˌhōl How to pronounce pothole (audio) \

Kids Definition of pothole

: a deep round hole (as in a road)

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More from Merriam-Webster on pothole

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pothole

Nglish: Translation of pothole for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about pothole

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