pot·​hole | \ˈpät-ˌhōl \

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 \ adjective

Examples of pothole in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

That means that the channels likely pre-date the impact event, just as a street pre-dates a pothole. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "Huge, previously unknown impact crater found beneath Greenland’s ice," 18 Nov. 2018 The Wolverine State will now have a lot more money to fill those potholes. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "New Bang for a Michigan Buck," 10 June 2018 To drive around that pothole, Tesla plans to build its first factory in China—its second-largest market, accounting for around 17% of sales last year. Jacky Wong, WSJ, "Can Tesla Drive Out of the Slow Lane in China?," 19 Oct. 2018 There were potholes and rattlesnakes to mind, as well as irrigation ditches. Ella Riley-adams, Vogue, "I Ditched My Phone for a Montana Cattle Drive (and Finally Dealt With My Feelings)," 3 Oct. 2018 On busy sidewalks, riders have to maneuver around pedestrians, pets, and potholes. Umair Irfan, Vox, "Electric scooters’ sudden invasion of American cities, explained," 7 Sep. 2018 But potholes and even homelessness are solvable problems, at least in my opinion. Otis R. Taylor Jr., SFChronicle.com, "Fireworks fascination can never be defused, so keep your ears plugged," 9 July 2018 There are crews on both sides of the border continuously filling in potholes and regrading stretches of road damaged by frost heaves. Scott Mcmurren, Anchorage Daily News, "Here’s what to expect on the road to Haines, by the numbers," 19 May 2018 In totally-not-dystopian news, Philadelphia citizens are begging Domino’s Pizza to fix the city’s potholes. Aubrey Nagle, Philly.com, "Temple tackles rare heart transplant, Lower Merion public garden at risk | Morning Newsletter," 13 June 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near pothole



pot holder





Statistics for pothole

Last Updated

7 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pothole

The first known use of pothole was in 1826

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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 \

Kids Definition of pothole

: a deep round hole (as in a road)

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More from Merriam-Webster on pothole

Spanish Central: Translation of pothole

Nglish: Translation of pothole for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about pothole

Comments on pothole

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a nest or breeding place

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