plural pothos
: a southeastern Asian climbing plant (Epipremnum aureum) of the arum family widely grown as a houseplant for its leathery or waxy heart-shaped green leaves with yellow or white variegation

Note: This plant is known by several other common names, including money plant, golden pothos, and devil's ivy.

Pothos is not only one of the most popular houseplants, it's also one of the easiest to maintain and propagate. To give this plant a haircut and share its green bounty with loved ones, there are two methods to propagate it: in water and in soil.L. Daniela Alvarez
While it thrives under the sun as a tropical forest plant, the adaptable pothos lives indoors in cooler climes so contentedly it has few other competitors in this category. … And coupled with a useful ability for flourishing even when neglected for long stretches, the pothos is the perfect low maintenance plant for those who struggle to keep more complicated foliage alive.Tom Fish

Examples of pothos in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The pothos, for instance, is almost impossible to kill. Christianna Silva, Better Homes & Gardens, 19 Jan. 2024 The hanging pots are large enough to fit nearly any plant — from shady pothos to fragrant bunches of basil — and the solid metal frame is designed to last. Find it on Amazon Amazon Basics Silicone Baking Mats Still using wasteful parchment paper or non-stick sprays when baking meals? Rebecca Martinson, Rolling Stone, 5 Jan. 2024 One thing to note about these pothos is all parts are toxic to animals and people if ingested. Kaitlyn Yarborough, Southern Living, 4 Dec. 2023 Steinkopf has had a silver pothos for years that appears in her book. Lauren David, Washington Post, 26 Oct. 2023 Greenery gadget Sutton Self-Watering Planter $32 at Anthropologie $36 at Lulu and Georgia Even people without a green thumb can enjoy a bit of monstera or pothos on their desk with this innovative gift, which removes the guesswork out of plant care. Sarah Grossbart,, 24 Oct. 2023 Think philodendrons, pothos, herbs, and trailing plants. Sophia Beams, Better Homes & Gardens, 23 Aug. 2023 But be aware that maidenhair ferns do require a bit more TLC than low-maintenance plants such as pothos or snake plant. Arricca Elin Sansone, Country Living, 17 Aug. 2023 Houseplants like snake plants, ZZ plants, spider plants, and pothos are popular choices that are great for beginners and experienced growers alike. Cori Sears, Better Homes & Gardens, 18 Oct. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'pothos.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


borrowed from New Latin, earlier genus name for the plant (Pothos aureus, later reclassified as Scindapsus aureus and Epipremnum aureum), Linnaeus's re-formation of earlier Potha, borrowed from Sinhalese pōṭā væl or pōṭǣ, names for the plant Pothos scandens

Note: The brief description by Linnaeus of the plant Pothos scandens (Species plantarum, tomus II [Stockholm, 1753], p. 968) refers to his own Flora Zeylanica (Stockholm, 1747), where the plant is described (p. 156) under the name Potha, and to the Thesaurus Zeylanicus (Amsterdam, 1737) of the Dutch botanist Johannes Burman (p. 197). Both the latter and Linnaeus's Flora Zeylanica refer to the Musaeum Zeylanicum (Leiden, 1717), a description of the plants of Sri Lanka compiled by the German-born botanist Paul Hermann (1646-95) and published posthumously by the British botanist William Sherard. Hermann, who lived in Sri Lanka from 1672 to 1677, was later professor of botany at the University of Leiden. In the Musaeum Zeylanicum, each plant is described under an approximation of its Sinhalese name.

First Known Use

1822, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of pothos was in 1822

Dictionary Entries Near pothos

Cite this Entry

“Pothos.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

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