sweet potato


Definition of sweet potato 

1 : a tropical vine (Ipomoea batatas) of the morning-glory family that is often grown for its edible tuberous root or for its ornamental variously shaped green to purple leaves and usually white to pinkish funnel-shaped flowers with pink to purple centers also : the large thick sweet and nutritious tuberous root of the sweet potato that has beige, yellow, orange, red, or purple flesh and is cooked and eaten as a vegetable — compare yam sense 2

2 : ocarina

Examples of sweet potato in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Spiralized sweet potatoes keep the dish nice and light. Danielle Page, USA TODAY, "Inventive summer salads for a fresh take on dinner," 2 July 2018 Kirsch encouraged me to bake one sweet potato at the beginning of the week and eat it in fourths. Lauren Levinson, Harper's BAZAAR, "I Stopped Eating Carbs After 2:30 p.m. and It Changed My Body," 14 June 2018 Their trap was empty, and the sweet potato the biologists used for bait was gone. Kurtis Alexander, San Francisco Chronicle, "Eradication of invasive rodent off to a slow start in California," 12 May 2018 Next Makayla Major and Camelle Wilkins very carefully cut the sweet potatoes into wedges. Philly.com, "Salmon cakes good, sweet potato wedges missing something," 2 May 2018 Slice the sweet potatoes into 1/2-inch pieces and put on a large baking sheet with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sea salt and pepper. Ellise Pierce, star-telegram, "Simple no-cook sauces for spring keep time in the kitchen to a minimum | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 28 Mar. 2018 In one of my accompanying recipes, the sweet potato in the dumplings call the tune for the aromatic spices that go into the stew. Sheri Castle, sacbee, "Dumplings can make a splash | The Sacramento Bee," 13 Feb. 2018 On a second rimmed baking sheet, toss the sweet potato with the oil, thyme and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, Good Housekeeping, "Shortcut Mac 'n' Cheese with Crispy Bacon and Sweet Potatoes," 28 Aug. 2017 Get out the sweet potatoes for even more chips to snack on! 14. Jane Maynard, Cosmopolitan, "15 Foods You Won't Believe You Can Make in the Microwave," 26 Mar. 2014

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

See More

First Known Use of sweet potato

1750, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about sweet potato

Share sweet potato

Statistics for sweet potato

Last Updated

20 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sweet potato

The first known use of sweet potato was in 1750

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for sweet potato

sweet potato


English Language Learners Definition of sweet potato

: a large root of a tropical plant that has orange skin and orange flesh, that is eaten as a vegetable, and that tastes sweet

sweet potato


Kids Definition of sweet potato

: the large sweet edible root of a tropical vine that is cooked and eaten as a vegetable

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on sweet potato

What made you want to look up sweet potato? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


by word of mouth

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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