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

My confidence in the magnetic key holders isn’t great, especially in the northeast where the pothole is on every state crest. Andrew Northshield, Popular Mechanics, "How To Get Keys Out of a Locked Car," 19 Dec. 2018 On the road to today’s graduation ceremonies, Chinchilla encountered many potholes and speed bumps. Peter Rowe, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Johnny Chinchilla: immigrant, veteran, cancer survivor, single father and, now, college grad," 27 May 2018 For real life driving, with potholes and groceries, the 911 is a practical tool. Alexander George, Popular Mechanics, "Why Does Everyone Love the Porsche 911?," 21 Dec. 2018 Joe Becker, who supported last year's disincorporation campaign and the earlier failed attempt, said Franklin Township has paved roads around Brady Lake that were once riddled with potholes, a big complaint of residents and visitors in recent years. Brian Albrecht, cleveland.com, "Smoother roads, lower taxes for Brady Lake villagers a year after vote to disband community (photos)," 29 Apr. 2018 America’s roads are rough. Underspending on infrastructure has left them filled with potholes, something the AAA estimates costs drivers $3 billion a year in repairs to their cars. Jack Stewart, WIRED, "Fancy New Suspension Could Make Car Rides a Lot Smoother," 9 Apr. 2018 For Millennials, particularly those who have never purchased a home before, this is largely unfamiliar territory and one where the road can be bumpy and scattered with potholes. Kansas City Regional Association Of Realtors®, kansascity, "For Millennials, the right REALTOR® is essential to home buying or selling [sponsored] | The Kansas City Star," 28 Mar. 2018 The bridge, a picturesque ruin riddled with potholes, is today a victim of this region’s harsh weather and an unspoken City Hall policy of demolition by neglect. New York Times, "In Erie, One City Block Is a Trek of Disrespect," 12 Mar. 2018 Changing entrenched habits tends to be a long and arduous process, a path pocked with potholes and detours. Ana Veciana-suarez, miamiherald, "Reclaiming my time: 2018 is the year of me | Miami Herald," 8 Jan. 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

19 Jan 2019

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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

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