1 of 2


pot·​ter ˈpä-tər How to pronounce potter (audio)
: one that makes pottery


2 of 2


pottered; pottering; potters
potterer noun
potteringly adverb

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web
He’s held a lot of jobs over the years, including working as a grocery store cashier, a house painter, a potter and a landscaper. Leslie Kelly, Forbes, 17 May 2022 More than 50 potters and artists are expected to participate. Eric E. Harrison, Arkansas Online, 30 Apr. 2023 Enslaved Edgefield potters made another kind of pot, smaller and evidently for private use. Christopher Benfey, The New York Review of Books, 20 Apr. 2023 Other headaches for Lizzy include worrying about her mentally ill brother Sean (John Magaro) and her childlike father (Judd Hirsch), a retired potter. Michael O'sullivan, Washington Post, 12 Apr. 2023 The two men — and the board of Mt. Calvary Catholic Cemetery — made a plan: Establish a potter’s field, gather the unclaimed dead and give them a proper burial. Tim Trainor, Washington Post, 30 Nov. 2021 And there’s a process that helps potters produce more swiftly. Caron Golden, San Diego Union-Tribune, 8 Apr. 2023 Related: At the MFA, enslaved Black potters’ work brings lives into the light in ‘Hear Me Now’ The jugs were talismanic ceramic objects for their enslaved makers, fitted with grotesquely cartoonish facial features. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 6 Apr. 2023 Her recent hot sellers include 1960s Vegas casino ashtrays and pieces made by noted mid-century potters such as Haeger. Jura Koncius, Washington Post, 6 Apr. 2023
My first half-hour is spent pottering through tranquil Cotswold villages, trapped behind dawdling tourists but enjoying the Aston Martin’s supple ride and easygoing docility—along with the many approving looks—though feeling ever more like a caged animal. Tim Pitt, Robb Report, 10 May 2023 Can the simple, tactile pleasure of pottering in the dirt or watching seedlings sprout comfort us at a time of loss and bewilderment? New York Times, 17 Apr. 2020 Ammons, who could control the rate of his unrolling tape by slowing down his writing, liked to potter around. Dan Chiasson, The New Yorker, 6 Jan. 2020 Which brings us to Streep’s Mary Louise, a folksy enigma in greige cardigans and ferrety prosthetic teeth, who potters around Monterey making all her rudest inner observations out loud. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, 7 June 2019 As a young journalist, Ms. Lawson often ended up pottering around the kitchen when copy was due, to help focus her thoughts. Eleanore Park, WSJ, 12 Apr. 2018 These theories often involve high-end sports cars, swimming pools or pottering around the expensive parts of the Monopoly board, enjoying fine food and donning overpriced designer clothing. SI.com, 16 Feb. 2018 A place to potter and fix and, dare it be said, a temporary respite from the stresses and strains of modern life. John Sinnott, CNN, 16 May 2017 See More

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

Word History



probably frequentative of English dialect pote to poke

First Known Use


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above


1829, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of potter was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near potter

Cite this Entry

“Potter.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/potter. Accessed 10 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
pot·​ter ˈpät-ər How to pronounce potter (audio)
: one that makes pottery


2 of 2 verb
potterer noun

Biographical Definition

Potter 1 of 2

biographical name (1)

Pot·​ter ˈpä-tər How to pronounce Potter (audio)
Beatrix 1866–1943 British writer and illustrator


2 of 2

biographical name (2)

Paul or Paulus 1625–1654 Dutch painter

More from Merriam-Webster on potter

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!