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

Examples of sweet potato in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Mac and cheese, sweet potatoes, are always on our table [too]. Chloe Melas, CNN, "Ayesha Curry reveals what's on her family's Thanksgiving menu this year," 28 Nov. 2019 Bei Bei got treats, too, including ice cakes filled with frozen juice, sweet potato and sugar cane. BostonGlobe.com, "WASHINGTON - Crowds flocked to the National Zoo over the weekend to bid their final goodbyes to Bei Bei, the giant panda cub, as he prepares to leave the only home he has known for China.," 19 Nov. 2019 Flavors are apple baharat, heirloom pumpkin, sweet potato and Bourbon pecan ($25-$30). Josie Sexton, The Know, "10 Denver restaurants serving a better-than-home-cooked dinner this Thanksgiving," 19 Nov. 2019 Bei Bei got treats too, including ice cakes filled with frozen juice, sweet potato and sugar cane. Washington Post, "Bei Bei showered with attention as National Zoo prepares to send him to China Tuesday," 18 Nov. 2019 Conduct beach clean-ups, collect scientific data to monitor the health of the Kohala watershed, help plant native ‘uala (sweet potato) and ko (sugarcane), or educate visitors on the conservation of native coral and fish species. National Geographic, "Hawaii Community Service: Island Habitat Restoration," 10 Sep. 2019 This is by design, cofounder Nicolas Jammet tells me in Sweetgreen’s Soho location between bites of the seasonal mesclun, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, chicken, apple, and cranberry maple dressing salad. Cam Wolf, GQ, "Moral Fiber: The Healthier-Than-Thou Design Philosophy That Took Over Your Favorite Salad Chain," 13 Apr. 2018 Goodies include items such as seasonal veggies, Cajun sweet potatoes, sweet pickled japalenos, Bitty's choice nuts, and cheeses. Julia Sayers, AL.com, "Where to get the city's healthiest, tastiest bowl meals," 16 Jan. 2018 The gigantic spud weighed 81 pounds, 9 ounces, which was three times heavier than the second-place 24.9-pound sweet potato grown by Lebanese farmer Khalil Semhat (shown above) in 2008. Olivia Putnal, Woman's Day, "10 Larger-Than-Life Thanksgiving Staples," 16 Nov. 2010

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

Time Traveler for sweet potato

Time Traveler

The first known use of sweet potato was in 1750

See more words from the same year

Statistics for sweet potato

Last Updated

13 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Sweet potato.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sweet%20potato. Accessed 16 December 2019.

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).


having a smooth flowing sound

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble tiles that read scrabble quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


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!