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 potholed (audio) \ adjective

Examples of pothole in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Then Mobi-Wize can provide city officials with detailed maps of every road that is suffering from potholes or other signs of deterioration. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "This startup helps self-driving cars literally feel the road," 11 Sep. 2018 But the outdoor range gets busy and is reached after 2 miles of axle-munching potholes, especially this time of year. Zaz Hollander, Anchorage Daily News, "An empty Fred Meyer store in downtown Palmer could become an indoor shooting range," 17 Apr. 2018 Drivers on this steep ascent must watch out for potholes and slippery gravel, not to mention livestock, which roams the area freely. Olivia Putnal, Woman's Day, "10 Awe-Inspiring Roads Around the World," 19 Oct. 2010 The result is visible today on its palm-lined, trash- and pothole-free streets. Gabriele Steinhauser, WSJ, "Rwanda: A Poster Child for Development With a Dark Side," 6 Nov. 2018 State of the city: Back in the pothole-preventing game Mayor Joe Hogsett wants Indy to get back in the business of maintaining its roads. Leigh Hedger, Indianapolis Star, "Profiles from the nation's nastiest primary, more Infosys details and a childish attack," 25 Apr. 2018 Last year, crews filled more than 15,000 potholes, almost double the typical workload. Andrew Theen, OregonLive.com, "Portland filled 4,500 potholes so far this year, but potholes are 'symptom' of failing streets," 12 Apr. 2018 Public Works employs 80 people whose jobs are specifically pothole-related, Reed added. Fernando Alfonso Iii, Houston Chronicle, "Here's how many potholes were filled in Houston in 2017," 11 Jan. 2018 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

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

13 Apr 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 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

Spanish Central: Translation of pothole

Nglish: Translation of pothole for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about pothole

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