pot·​hole ˈpät-ˌhōl How to pronounce pothole (audio)
: a circular hole formed in the rocky bed of a river by the grinding action of stones or gravel whirled round by the water
: a sizable rounded often water-filled depression in land
: a pot-shaped hole in a road surface
: a usually minor difficulty or setback
hit a pothole in her comeback attempt
potholed adjective

Examples of pothole in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web If the ancient Romans could build something so long-lasting, why on earth do our modern roads have so many potholes? Erik Kobayashi-Solomon, Forbes, 13 Nov. 2023 Residents had spotted him on Sunday afternoons filling potholes by himself. Colbi Edmonds, New York Times, 12 Nov. 2023 Wrapping up a trip to Israel on Wednesday, Biden told reporters that up to 20 trucks of aid from Egypt would be allowed into the enclave through the Rafah crossing once potholes along the road and damage from Israeli airstrikes had been repaired. Miriam Berger, Washington Post, 19 Oct. 2023 Some scooter injuries involved car accidents, while others came after riders hit potholes or uneven ground. Aria Bendix, NBC News, 20 Oct. 2023 Navigating the myriad potholes would require money, an uncommon mastery of deal-making and a rabbit to pair with a hat. Bryce Miller, San Diego Union-Tribune, 30 Sep. 2023 This combination of strength and energy generation could be used in several types of wearables and Internet of Things applications, including infrastructure systems to reinforce bridges and highways that sense when a crack, pothole, or other damage appears, Yu says. IEEE Spectrum, 1 Nov. 2023 If vehicles driven on certain routes or roads show consistent patterns of damage, Amazon might let a city know that trees need cutting or potholes fixing, for example. WIRED, 24 Oct. 2023 Ride quality is smooth and comfortable, with both suspension setups sopping up all but the worst potholes. Jack Fitzgerald, Car and Driver, 8 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'pothole.' 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

1826, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of pothole was in 1826

Dictionary Entries Near pothole

Cite this Entry

“Pothole.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pothole. Accessed 28 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


pot·​hole ˈpät-ˌhōl How to pronounce pothole (audio)
: a deep round hole (as in a road)

More from Merriam-Webster on pothole

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