potter's field


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

Example Sentences

criminals and unidentified people are sometimes buried in a potter's field
Recent Examples on the Web 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 Music Hall was built over a potter's field, a place where immigrants and the poor who had died without identification were buried. Briana Rice, Cincinnati.com, 17 Oct. 2019 Bolden was buried in Holt Cemetery, a potter's field in New Orleans. NOLA.com, 24 Jan. 2018 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'potter's field.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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 4 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

potter's field


: a public burial place for the poor, unknown persons, and criminals
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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