potter's field


: a public burial place for paupers, unknown persons, and criminals

Examples of potter's field in a Sentence

criminals and unidentified people are sometimes buried in a potter's field
Recent Examples on the Web The island is not only the largest potter's field in the U.S., but it is also believed to be the single largest AIDS burial site, according to the NYC Parks Department. Kiara Alfonseca, ABC News, 1 Dec. 2023 After finding out from police that her son was buried in a potter's field, Wade Robinson sought to recover his body and give him a proper burial. Deena Zaru, ABC News, 16 Nov. 2023 The family of Dexter Wade is calling for justice after the 37-year-old man was allegedly fatally struck by a Jackson, Mississippi Police Department cruiser in March and later buried in a potter's field without his family knowing. Kiara Alfonseca, ABC News, 30 Oct. 2023 The family lived down the street from the potter's field where the boy was first buried, and placed flowers there on holidays. Maryclaire Dale, USA TODAY, 14 Jan. 2023 Part of Music Hall was built on top of a potter's field, or burial grounds for poor people and immigrants who died without identification. Victoria Moorwood, The Enquirer, 28 Oct. 2022 City officials announced last April that a potter's field for the poor and unclaimed on Hart Island would be used to bury victims of the virus. Mirna Alsharif and Ray Sanchez, CNN, 7 May 2021 Dina Maniotis, a deputy commissioner with the Office of Chief Medical Examiner, told a city council committee on Wednesday that many of the bodies held at the 39th Street Pier could end up buried in the city's potter's field on Hart Island. CBS News, 7 May 2021 In 2012, the city spent $120,000 to help preserve the historic Cementerio Lindo, a potter's field near 15th and Durango avenues, which dates from the 1890s and covers 10 times more area than Sotelo-Heard. John D'anna, azcentral, 11 Jan. 2020 See More

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

Word History


from the mention in Matthew 27:7 of the purchase of a potter's field for use as a graveyard

First Known Use

1777, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of potter's field was in 1777

Dictionary Entries Near potter's field

Cite this Entry

“Potter's field.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/potter%27s%20field. Accessed 21 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

potter's field

: a public burial place for the poor, unknown persons, and criminals
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