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

The highway is in its best shape in years -- no rain equals no potholes – but that does not mean no flat tires. John Schandelmeier, Anchorage Daily News, "Denali Highway is in great shape, and caribou are there for the taking," 8 Sep. 2019 The bus lurched and swerved around crater-size potholes. USA Today, "Were Wanda Tucker’s ancestors America’s first slaves? A difficult search for answers in far-away Angola," 22 Aug. 2019 How will the Bucs fix a defense with potholes at every level? Stephen Ruiz, orlandosentinel.com, "Bucs, Dolphins, Jags seek answers to roster questions as training camps start," 25 July 2019 The practice has proven to be fraught with potholes for the NFL, was launched largely for PR purposes in the first place. Albert Breer, SI.com, "In Atlanta, Dan Quinn Is Ready to Show Off the Falcons’ Coaching Overhaul," 22 July 2019 The road to owning a new-to-you car can be fraught with potholes. Robert Duffer, USA TODAY, "Shopping for a CPO car? Here's what you need to know," 15 July 2019 From the Ivorian capital of Abidjan, the village of Bonon is a five-hour drive along two-lane roads pocked with pond-sized potholes. Washington Post, "Cocoa’s child laborers," 5 June 2019 Third Coast Provisions, which focuses on products from the Great Lakes regions with an emphasis on seafood, has surf and turf, lobster pot pie, lobster rolls, lobster potholes (with lump crab, garlic, and herb butter), and lobster mac and cheese. Joanne Kempinger Demski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Lobster Fest indulges shellfish lovers for 3 days, while local restaurants feed the craving all year," 7 Aug. 2019 And the $22 million that the city already spends each year patching potholes, rehabbing arterial roadways and reconstructing city streets? Frederick Melo, Twin Cities, "It’s official: St. Paul streets are worse than Minneapolis and fading fast," 6 Aug. 2019

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

14 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for pothole

The first known use of pothole was in 1826

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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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