Main definitions of pot in English

: pot1pot2pot3pot4

pot1

noun

  • 1A rounded or cylindrical container, typically of metal, used for cooking.

    ‘pots and pans hung from a rack’
    • ‘Questions, questions all around bubbling in her head like hot water in a cooking pot.’
    • ‘Some make it into their cooking pots, while others are sold for a tidy profit ranging from B20,000 and up.’
    • ‘She could understand why they would need cooking pots and pans, rope, blankets, even the sword he had taken with him.’
    • ‘It had fired jugs, pans, cooking pots and roofing tiles in the 14th century, and similar wares have been found on excavations locally and in adjacent counties.’
    • ‘They have only necessities, such as two or three cooking pots, a few plates, wooden spoons, and very few articles of clothing.’
    • ‘Pliny the Younger gives us the romantic tale that Phoenician merchants first noticed that glass was formed under their cooking pots on the beach.’
    • ‘These paste attributes suggest the multipurpose nature of these vessel forms, used as cooking pots and containers.’
    • ‘Stirring it around for a while, she then dished it up into a big bowl, put water into both her cooking pots, and took her dinner out onto the roof, where she ate among the stars.’
    • ‘She placed a cooking pot in the sink, filling it with warm water before setting it on the burning, turning the knob to high.’
    • ‘The remaining challenge was to scale up the process from samples the size of postage stamps to cylinders as big as cooking pots.’
    • ‘Kitchen utensils include pots, bowls, cooking ladles, and spoons made of coconut shells.’
    • ‘In ordinary kitchens of all periods, cooking pots were made of unglazed Nile clay, sometimes with a burnished slip coating.’
    • ‘Without running water, women wash their cooking pots in the street.’
    • ‘Fabric softener sheets are claimed to clean baked on foods from cooking pots and pans.’
    • ‘In Bahia, the African tradition of cooking in ceramic pots is followed.’
    • ‘Have you always thought that cooking with aluminum pots and pans can cause Alzheimer's disease?’
    • ‘The sequences for lamps, fine wares, amphoras, cooking pots, and plain wares can be clearly established at Corinth.’
    • ‘When there was enough room for both of them to stand outside, Maggie fired up the two-burner stove and started melting snow in both cooking pots.’
    • ‘Transfer to a cooking pot with five litres of cold water.’
    • ‘He stood up decisively, and took on of their cooking pots, and collected some rain water.’
    cooking utensil, container, receptacle, vessel
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[usually with modifier or in combination]Any of various containers made for a particular purpose, especially one used for storage.
      ‘a yogurt pot’
      [as modifier] ‘a coffee pot’
      • ‘At the Kittling Ridge Estate there are guided tours of the winery and distillery, with its vast fermentation cellars, copper pots and oak barrels.’
      • ‘Normally his desk is clear save for the following: pencil pot full of writing instruments, my Manila-colored file, and a pad of paper.’
      • ‘Mr Ogogo also demonstrated traditional coil pot design, sculptural techniques and how to design and make traditional jewellery.’
      • ‘The soup arrived, bubbling away in a huge clay pot thing.’
      • ‘Her house is a small thatched cubby-hole with an empty grain storage pot.’
      • ‘In a large saucepan, heat oil (enough to fill fondue pot two-thirds full) over medium heat.’
      • ‘Protect recipes from kitchen mess by placing them under a clean, glass pot lid.’
      • ‘The magistrate concluded that the primary purpose of the plastic pot is for the growing of the plant.’
      • ‘A little bin serving as a mailbox sat next to the newly painted black door and on the opposite side was a terra cotta pot filled with red tulips and a crate containing firewood.’
      • ‘After the salads comes a selection of different breads, then three large clay pot tureens of soup.’
      • ‘An old china pot or bowl bought in a junk shop and filled with potpourri can prove a hit.’
      • ‘They cooked on board their boats in a small bastible pot set inside a larger one, which held the fire.’
      • ‘She started the coffee maker for the whole 12-cup pot, she would end up drinking that and more.’
    2. 1.2A container for holding drink, especially beer.
      • ‘A pot of sorghum beer is placed in the center of the room with numerous reed straws, and participants come forward to partake.’
      • ‘Secondly, the beer came in plastic pots, so I was gone if I got into a fight with the bouncers.’
      • ‘I poured the steaming hot black coffee from the pot into my thermal cup.’
      • ‘After dexterous moves with the coffee machine, pots and cups, the Espresso is ready for tasting and then on to the other brews.’
      • ‘Some of us probably get through several pots of the drink.’
      • ‘The leader then mixed a pot of Zulu beer, an offering for the ancestors, then asked the ancestors to bless the country's leaders, and the market.’
      • ‘Here you'll sit at long communal tables while waitresses in Bavarian costume serve foaming pots of beer.’
      • ‘In fact I tried several times after first filling the pot with beer.’
      • ‘I refilled our mugs and returned the pot to the burner.’
      • ‘As exotic and exciting as the double handshake was the sorghum beer handed around in mud pots.’
      • ‘Returning quickly and wiping his mouth, he handed Brownlegg a canned drink and a plastic pot, which rattled.’
      • ‘She turns on her heel and quickly returns with our drinks in small, metallic pots and chipped mugs.’
      • ‘The fight abruptly ended in order to save the beer pot from being broken.’
      • ‘All of the water you put in the coffee maker eventually comes out of the maker and into a pot or a cup, albeit as coffee.’
      • ‘A waitress will come to your side with a set of small tea cups and pots, each with a different function.’
      • ‘Together we drank five cups and the pot was still not dry.’
      • ‘Ingcazi by Nala Ntombi, for instance, is a series of beer pots traditionally used by young women to acknowledge the advances of young men.’
    3. 1.3The contents of a pot.
      ‘a pot of coffee’
      • ‘A pot of tea for Ann and sparkling mineral water for me completed our snack at £8.15.’
      • ‘Ann had a pot of tea which was offered with either fresh milk or a sachet.’
      • ‘Having shared a pot of tea for two we were ready to wend our way back to York after paying £10.50 for our snack.’
      • ‘The competition for the night is for a pot of the best homemade blackcurrant jam.’
      • ‘In addition for £1.65 I had a Danish pastry with a pot of tea.’
      • ‘His house is equipped with various kinds of roasted coffee beans, a coffee grinder, and a coffee machine by which a pot of coffee can be brewed.’
      • ‘After practically giving up coffee for a couple of months, I had a pot of dark roast Friday.’
      • ‘But the fact that a show was intended to be watched while sipping a pot of tea seems no longer to debar it from the status of entertainment to be enjoyed while chomping choc ices.’
      • ‘So sit back quietly in that agreeably familiar comfy chair, treat yourself to a pot of weakish tea, and let me put the case for the rise of the dull man.’
      • ‘In fact, I won't be seeing it at all, because I have a pot of white emulsion and a wall that needs to be watched as the paint dries.’
      • ‘I used to think that absolutely nothing could provide contentment equal to a pot of coffee and a four-pound Sunday newspaper.’
      • ‘Fortified by a pot of tea and a toasted teacake at a transport cafe we again found ourselves on the A75.’
      • ‘You not only get a pot of tea, or coffee, but fresh (un-sugared) whipped cream, and a sweet.’
      • ‘There always seems to be a pot of the café's delicious trademark hibiscus, ginger and cinnamon tea steeping on the counter.’
      • ‘I could never draw with a steel quill worth a damn, so I kept a pot of ink and a couple of nibs above my mouse.’
      • ‘Yesterday she was braving a chilly wind for a pot of tea outside Sid's Cafe in the town centre, and wondering why she had left behind the 90 degree heat of Arlington.’
      • ‘Yesterday staff, local craftspeople and builders who worked on the new branch toasted its success with a glass of champagne rather than a pot of tea.’
      • ‘Along with the higher cost of produce, I find the charges in the cafés extortionate, with a pot of tea for two costing up to £2.50.’
      • ‘Ann couldn't be persuaded to have more than a toasted teacake and a pot of tea which was a ‘special’ at £1.50.’
      • ‘Especially if you accompany it with a pot of Chinese tea - great for the digestion and known to lower cholesterol levels - rather than the usual pint of lager.’
  • 2The total sum of the bets made on a round in poker, brag, etc.

    ‘Jim raked in half the pot’
    • ‘Players having strong hands, who are waiting to raise, don't want you to know this until you're in the pot.’
    • ‘Players pay the final difference between their total and the winner's total to the pot before the winner collects the final pot.’
    • ‘On the hand in question I was on the button with five players already in the pot.’
    • ‘According to the confused floor man announcing the event, Julian had made a flush and had won the pot.’
    • ‘If the hand was played to the end, the pot stays in place, and there is no new ante; the players who folded in the previous hand are dealt in again if they wish.’
    • ‘At the end of a hand, the dealer retains anything that is left in the pot, and the deal passes to the next player.’
    • ‘When you peek at your two hole cards, if they're not both pretty big, it's very unlikely you belong in the pot.’
    • ‘The winner of the pot in the poker stage begins the play by leading a card face up in front of them.’
    • ‘And if you happen to catch an ace or a king, that's likely to win the pot too.’
    • ‘If several people are staying, the pot will return better odds and may be worth a chase.’
    • ‘I decided to just call so as to keep as many as possible in the pot.’
    • ‘Operators would rather rake the pot than charge per hand, because they can take out more money.’
    • ‘In a showdown, the winner will take the pot consisting of the small antes and the bets.’
    • ‘The highest bidder places the number of counters bid into the pot.’
    • ‘If either of these players is nearly all in, you'll need a fairly decent hand to raise the pot.’
    • ‘Then, besides winning the pot when I improved, I'd also win a few of the times that I missed!’
    • ‘Everyone puts a nickel into the pot and you deal out 5 cards to each player.’
    • ‘You merely need to extract more value from the pot than you put into it.’
    • ‘If there is a tie for either high or low, the players involved in the tie split that half of the pot.’
    • ‘Second, be as certain as you can that your hand is best and that the pot odds are right.’
    bank, kitty, pool, purse, stakes, ante, jackpot
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1All the money contributed by a group of people for a particular purpose.
      ‘in insurance, everybody puts money into the pot used to pay claims’
      • ‘We just added another $37 billion of your taxpayer money to the pot of those incentives.’
      • ‘The reports says that savings can be made leaving members with a pot of £141,000 to select worthy projects.’
      • ‘If it doesn't look like there'll be enough money in the pot to finance pension commitments, it's the employer who has to top it up.’
      • ‘These included pulling the plug on winter gritting to ensure there was enough money left in the pot to pay for snow clearance.’
      • ‘For income of only £14,000 per annum at retirement a pot of about £255,000 needs to be built up.’
      • ‘A pot of £10,000 would give an income of around £620 a year to a man aged 60.’
      • ‘Maldon District Council has a pot of more than £400,000 to spend on new facilities for children and young people of all ages during the next 18 months.’
      • ‘What private accounts can do, but the pay-as-you-go system can't, is grow the pot of money available for people to retire on.’
      • ‘The public will eventually like what they're told to, it all depends on how much marketing money is in the pot.’
      • ‘It was feared these endowments might not mature with enough money in the pot to pay off the mortgages, leaving people with a substantial shortfall.’
      • ‘Together they will create a pot of £450,000 a year and the first signs of how that money will spent will be seen on September 23.’
      • ‘Then people pay a bit more when they buy certain things which is a fair tax and that money goes into the pot.’
      • ‘First, it means less money in the pot, so that fewer tutors can be hired and average tutorial sizes continue to get larger and larger.’
      • ‘The idea has been mooted before but this time there's actually money flowing into the pot.’
      • ‘The councillor said she understood there needed to be money in the pot for works but the fees charged in rural areas were too high for people.’
      • ‘For this the hostesses get very well paid and so it is a lucrative line of business, especially for a foreign hostess who can earn a pot of cash in three months and then disappear on holiday for the rest of the year.’
      • ‘The reality is that the Government is not putting enough money into the pot.’
      • ‘A councillor frustrated at not being able to give a pot of cash away to people in Bolton is overjoyed after 14 groups applied for the money.’
      • ‘There just won't be enough money in the pot to pay for it.’
      • ‘Mr Greenwood said putting the whole strategy into action would cost £40,000 and it was hoped Cumbria County Council would put some money into the pot.’
  • 3informal A prize in a sporting contest, especially a silver cup.

    • ‘The BU Terriers are the Yankees of the tournament, having seized the silver pot 24 times.’
    • ‘The day passed quickly, filled with scary word puzzles and history trivia games with Jolly Rancher prize pots.’
    • ‘There are, depending on the league, big and small pots to the winners at the end of the year.’
    • ‘England, after winning their qualification group outright, have been placed in the second of these four pots.’
    • ‘Il Capitano finished top of his heat having accumulated all the low-denomination chips, meaning that he had won a great many small pots uncontested.’
    • ‘Now, more than two decades on, the Blues boss is desperate to get his hands on the old pot once again and he will be stressing to his players about the opportunity they have of going down in folklore.’
    • ‘At Celtic, the player is virtually guaranteed Champions' League football every year, not to mention the chance to lift the odd pot or two.’
    • ‘It is unlikely that Manchester United will ever have to wait so long for a pot to put in the Old Trafford cabinet, but their need for success will be just as great as that of their opponents.’
    • ‘However, before that happens he may be able to bring European football back to White Hart Lane and, whisper it, maybe even a pot to put on the sideboard.’
  • 4informal A pot belly.

    ‘men pat their pots proudly and talk of how they must have got through a few skinfuls’
    • ‘It's also a very good pattern for anyone who has a bit of a pot, because the crossgrain hangs down straight, and totally diminishes a pot.’
    • ‘As I explained to Shawn, I feel a great amount of back fat, and the lower-slung jeans that I wear make the pot that is my belly especially obvious to me.’
    paunch, belly, beer belly, gut, fat stomach, protruding stomach
    View synonyms
  • 5informal An engine cylinder.

    • ‘She is of fibreglass construction, powered by a Caterpillar engine and has a pot and net hauler.’
    • ‘They've squeezed a very creditable 192 bhp from the four pot, 16 valve motor.’
  • 6Billiards
    A shot in which a player strikes a ball into a pocket.

    ‘he put together a 36 clearance to blue which was full of difficult pots’
    • ‘Both players looked nervous in the 16th, missing straightforward pots before White eventually took the initiative and the frame.’
    • ‘Attempting to position the cue ball for a pot on the black to a centre pocket, he experienced an unusually excessive bounce off the top cushion which took the white way past its intended spot.’
    • ‘The tournament favourite raised a finger to a pocket after missing a difficult pot during his 10-6 success.’
    • ‘He fought back to take a nervous 14th frame with both players missing straightforward pots as the tension mounted.’
    • ‘The 24-year-old picks up a cue straight off the rack and proceeds to dazzle me with an array of fantastic pots and superb ball control.’

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1Plant in a flowerpot.

    ‘pot individual cuttings as soon as you see new young leaves’
    • ‘Fill the base with gravel, place the potted plants on top of the gravel and cover the surface with sphagnum moss or osmunda fibers.’
    • ‘Buy potted bulbs when the stems are short and the buds are formed but not open.’
    • ‘For the examinations, the plants were potted and transferred to the laboratory.’
    • ‘The lily can be set at the bottom of the container, but set the other potted plants on top of stacked bricks so that their crowns are two to four inches below the water's surface.’
    • ‘If you find you need additional plants besides the four listed here, consider adding a bright colored potted pansy or a colorful primrose.’
    • ‘However, the height of the stand and the fact that it is based on a hexagon also mean that the display will be cone-like in form - so if you were to arrange 50 potted plants on it, you would see a towering hill of blooms.’
    • ‘To enjoy potted bulbs longest, select young plants with tight buds and just a little color showing - not those already in full bloom.’
    • ‘When potting African violets, take care to set the plant so that the crown is just above the surface and the soil is firmly pressed around it.’
    • ‘When potting or planting, care must be taken to avoid damaging them.’
    • ‘So potted roses that you bring home from the garden center in, say, mid-April, will be much more advanced than the bareroot bushes you planted at about the same time.’
    • ‘The grass leaves and roots gradually rot down to produce a fine, crumbly loam that can be used for potting all sorts of plants from tomatoes to tulips.’
    • ‘If winter lows will drop down into the mid-20s or lower, bring potted fuchsias indoors, and put them in a cool place until spring.’
    • ‘In hot weather, potted plants may need water twice daily.’
    • ‘Schizanthus are very slow to germinate, so it's best to purchase plants that are already potted from your garden center.’
    • ‘Similarly, other potted flowering plants, including anthuriums and bromeliads, are becoming important.’
    • ‘Try recycling old articles that would otherwise be junk, when you next want to pot a plant.’
    • ‘The only thing that all potted plants need is regular watering, plus fertiliser to keep them going longer.’
    • ‘For longest enjoyment, buy potted bulbs when the buds are formed but even fully emerged.’
    • ‘Each cage was filled with 20 potted plants of one of four genotypes of soybeans.’
    • ‘After germination plants were potted and arranged in stands as described above.’
    1. 1.1Transplant a plant from a small flowerpot to a larger one.
      • ‘As slugs are a problem in my garden, I will pot my seedlings on and put them out when they are bigger.’
      • ‘Take cuttings of hydrangeas; they root best if inserted singly in small pots, this minimises root disturbance when they are potted on.’
      • ‘I bought these mail order as plug planes and have potted them on.’
      • ‘I give the young seedlings some winter protection in a frame and leave them in the seed pot until spring when they can be potted on.’
      • ‘So next spring I shall be potting them on and giving them away.’
      • ‘When the ones which are going to have perked up, I will think about potting them on.’
      • ‘I have potted them on (three to a three inch pot) and they are now an enticingly willowy six inches tall.’
    2. 1.2Transplant a seedling into a flowerpot.
      • ‘They germinated well, and in the autumn the little plants were potted up, and placed in the greenhouse for the winter.’
      • ‘You can even pot them up and give them to friends as gifts.’
      • ‘We'd got a few plants over the last week or two, and we spent a fair bit of time potting them up, or planting them out.’
      • ‘Hardy water lilies must be repotted every spring in a process that's similar to potting them up initially.’
      • ‘Otherwise pot them up temporarily until you see whether you might not have a use for them elsewhere in the gardens.’
      • ‘Various factors will determine how long it takes before a potted bulb will bloom, but an important factor is the time of year that the bulb is potted up.’
      • ‘So I got another specimen, potted it up as before and brought it in for the winter, with exactly the same result.’
      • ‘First up were the sweet peas - 13 had survived so I potted them up in pairs (with one over!) in two 12 inch pots.’
      • ‘Always one for a bargain, I bought a set of four named dark foliaged varieties half price last week and potted them up on Sunday.’
      • ‘Leave until growth starts in early spring when the young plants can be potted up and grown on before planting out in May.’
      • ‘It's worth potting them up now to get bigger and better plants before they're transferred to their final positions next month.’
      • ‘I've potted it up with some marigold seedlings in a really big pot and hopefully in a few weeks time it will grow me lots of lovely peppers.’
      • ‘Once dry keep in a frost-free, dry place in a shallow tray of sand until February or March next year when they can be potted up.’
      • ‘Then we spent a couple of hours potting them up nicely.’
      • ‘A better practice is to wait until late July or early August to take cuttings, and then, after the rooted cuttings are 6 to 8 inches tall, they can be potted up (three to an 8-inch bulb pan) and grown without any pinching.’
      • ‘As the plants sprout new leaves, remove them from the aquarium and pot them up in a potting soil recommended for African violets.’
      • ‘Later indoors I trim it more closely so that the root is apparent, dip that in a powdered rooting hormone and pot them up in a well drained soil-less potting mix.’
      • ‘They arrived very well packed and I've potted them up into large tubs of ericaceous compost since they won't like our local soil.’
      • ‘One I pegged down earlier in the summer had already rooted, so I potted it up on its own.’
      • ‘You can buy the bulbs and pot them up or plants will be available in bud.’
  • 2Preserve (food, especially meat or fish) in a sealed pot or jar.

    ‘venison can be potted in the same way as tongue’
    • ‘Dig out the old Cookbook or whatever recipe you use and get it potted up ready for those scrummy little tartlets.’
    • ‘The wife admitted that she and her husband had frequently had potted meat from the shop without ill effects.’
    • ‘So we melted butter and a little garlic and parsley and potted them.’
    • ‘A comedian entertained the camera crews, the national press core were fed pies and potted Morecambe Bay shrimps and a certain statue was kitted out with a woolly hat and scarf.’
    • ‘You can also provide food for thought with herbs, potted strawberries and tomatoes.’
    • ‘At this time of year, all the best gourmet restaurants have elderberry ice-cream on the menu and cooks are busy potting up rose hip chutney, quince jelly and bottling sloe gin liqueur.’
    • ‘Fishing for mussels and shrimps was a hobby but potting the fruits of your labours and selling them on was a good way to save up for a new future.’
    • ‘One popular canned item was potted meat, which customers mixed with eggs to make inexpensive sandwiches.’
    • ‘The restaurant, now in its 25th year, uses a 100-year-old secret recipe for potting the shrimps, handed down from local fishermen.’
    • ‘The offal would be passed round for instant consumption, the rest potted, salted or dried.’
    • ‘My own grandmother was indeed forever pickling and potting.’
  • 3Billiards
    Strike (a ball) into a pocket.

    ‘he failed to pot a red at close range’
    • ‘Dave swiftly potted 4 balls then Roy potted 2 and then forced Dave to foul.’
    • ‘He is unfortunate to snooker himself in the pack after potting a long red.’
    • ‘He should have potted the pink and I think his head dropped after that.’
    • ‘I couldn't pot a long ball and I had no run all day.’
    • ‘The new pool rule he introduced involved only using one hand to pot the black.’
    • ‘Frame six of a match King eventually won was literally a comedy of errors, neither player able to pot black and kill the frame.’
    • ‘Michael failed to pot an easy pink, which will haunt him for a long time.’
    • ‘But then he potted an audacious red to begin a run of 29.’
    • ‘He potted 13 reds and 12 blacks before losing position on the colour.’
    • ‘We only played a couple more frames in that session and I won them both as John could hardly hold his cue never mind pot any balls.’
  • 4informal Hit or kill by shooting.

    ‘he was shot in the eye as neighbours potted clay pigeons’
    • ‘In a productive grouse year, around 350,000 of the birds are potted by shooting parties in the UK, mostly in Scotland, during the August to November season.’
    1. 4.1Succeed in obtaining (something desirable); win.
      ‘do you fancy potting a fine trophy?’
  • 5[no object] Make articles from earthenware or baked clay.

    ‘why not paint or pot in the sun this winter?’
    • ‘Over in the Cue Zone - a great white marquee set up on the Barbican's first-floor balcony - I decided to try my hand at potting.’
    • ‘As potting and glazing technologies became more advanced during the 18th century, porcelain production reached a high point.’
    • ‘New types of kilns were introduced for potting and tile-manufacture, and new technologies developed around glass-making and metalworking.’
    • ‘Metal was worked and there was an early use of the fast wheel for potting.’
  • 6British Sit (a young child) on a potty.

  • 7Encapsulate (an electrical component or circuit) in a synthetic resin or similar insulating material which sets solid.

    • ‘Electronic potting components in devices made in high volumes cannot use a silicone that cures slowly, because that extra processing time means higher costs.’
    • ‘Integrated circuits, and methods of fabricating same, which take into account capacitive loading by the integrated circuit potting material’
    • ‘Methods of designing and fabricating integrated circuits which take into account capacitive loading by the intergrated circuit potting material’
    • ‘Commonly used with endoscopes and diagnostic equipment, the material can also be used for potting and encapsulation.’

Phrases

  • for the pot

    • For food or cooking.

      ‘he shot a pigeon for the pot’
      • ‘The Government has ruled that it is now illegal to shoot a crow, rook or pigeon for the pot without scaring it first.’
      • ‘We had chooks and ducks, and being simple folk we treated some of them as pets, at least in their formative days until they were ready for the pot.’
      • ‘Nature is neither cruel, nor moralistic, and if you live close to it, the concept of good and evil merges into one, so that the death of an intruder is either something for the pot, or the defence of territory.’
      • ‘We're not talking about peasants supplementing their diet by hunting game for the pot.’
      • ‘It appears that a good part of the shipment was intended for the pot in North Italian gourmet restaurants, the rest for illegal stuffing - something strictly forbidden in the EU by water-tight legislation.’
      • ‘But the old-school, romantic poacher who steals one for the pot with his well-worn net slung out over the darkened river; there's a certain attraction in him, isn't there?’
      • ‘Farmers have been known to make the most of this - and take the odd one home for the pot.’
      • ‘These were pretty much the only live animals I saw in Hong Kong that weren't destined for the pot.’
      • ‘The few people who do go shooting on this land only get what is needed for the pot.’
      • ‘It was a simple stone tower with an internal wooden structure to enable staff to climb up and collect eggs and birds for the pot.’
  • go to pot

    • informal Deteriorate through neglect.

      ‘the foundry was allowed to go to pot in the seventies’
      • ‘He added: ‘Since the government brought in this zero tolerance on crime, the country has gone to pot.’’
      • ‘If your fuel mileage has gone to pot, if your car or truck is sluggish and appears to have lost its zip, if it is hard to start, or you have failed an emission inspection, you almost certainly need a tune-up.’
      • ‘New York and Chicago got many great art deco masterpieces, and then architecture went to pot for 30 years.’
      • ‘At least one Canadian believes that politics haven't gone to pot - and he's trying to do something about it.’
      • ‘I was in such tizzy when I wrote it that spelling and grammar went to pot.’
      • ‘Naturally, I've been backing up copies on my home computer, but then I downloaded the corrupted files and wrote them over the working versions, so it's all gone to pot.’
      • ‘My late night writing session went to pot, as it were.’
      • ‘She added: ‘I was proud of working here but now look at it, it's gone to pot.’’
      • ‘Meanwhile, back in the real world, my O-Level studies went to pot, closely followed by the A-Levels.’
      • ‘And her complexion has gone to pot and she isn't as pretty any more.’
      deteriorate, decline, degenerate, go to ruin, go to rack and ruin, go downhill, go to seed, decay, fall into disrepair, become dilapidated, run down, rot, slide
      go to the dogs, go down the tubes, hit the skids
      go to the pack
      View synonyms
  • the pot calling the kettle black

    • Used to convey that the criticisms a person is aiming at someone else could equally well apply to themselves.

      ‘the Council is complaining that the post office is slow at communication—talk about pot calling the kettle black!’
      • ‘I know it's like the pot calling the kettle black, but in fairness, when you are a smoker, you do not realise the discomfort you put other people through by smoking in public and polluting their air with your smoke.’
      • ‘To work within the constraints of an international system is a very frustrating experience, but criticisms about its shortcomings are often a case of the pot calling the kettle black.’
      • ‘To be fair, my own criticism is an example of the pot calling the kettle black.’
      • ‘Forgive me for mentioning it, but isn't it a case of the pot calling the kettle black?’
      • ‘At this point I was sitting in my chair thinking, man, this guy's really the pot calling the kettle black, isn't he?’
      • ‘Well now, isn't this a fine case of the pot calling the kettle black?’
      • ‘All said and done, is this a case of the pot calling the kettle black?’
      • ‘That's a case of the pot calling the kettle black - if you want to hear about bratty kids talk about yourselves.’
      • ‘But it was a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black.’
      • ‘Yes, I realise this is a prime example of the pot calling the kettle black.’
  • pot of gold

  • pots of money

    • informal A very large amount of money.

      ‘people who've got pots of money in the bank’
      • ‘The Government is throwing pots and pots of money at drug abuse, but alcohol creates far, far more problems than drugs here.’
      • ‘They kept in touch, and this year, now aged 29, hit on a way of making pots of money.’
      • ‘If it happens, one of football's most depressing great certainties - that you can't succeed unless you have pots of money - will have bitten the dust.’
      • ‘Despite the vast pots of money at the top of the European game, the unpalatable fact is that football crowds across the Continent are diminishing.’
      • ‘Scores of people crowded into a meeting hall to learn there were no large pots of money for the estimated £60 million project.’
      • ‘We have one of the biggest pots of money - £1,000 has never been done before.’
      • ‘And what is more, it is all to the good, because of course you can now make pots of money out your lack of success.’
      • ‘We are a small community and don't have big pots of money.’
      • ‘Instead, as well as cash from the Government, businesses will hand over pots of money in sponsorship to help fund projects around the country.’
      • ‘We are not going to have pots of money to spend on transfers, but who has?’
  • shit (or piss) or get off the pot

    • vulgar slang Used to convey that someone should stop wasting time and get on with something.

  • a watched pot never boils

    • proverb Time seems to drag endlessly when you're waiting for something to happen.

      • ‘While you're waiting (because a watched pot never boils, you know!) go outside and cut the culprits down to their crowns.’
      • ‘They say a watched pot never boils, so you might want to do something else at this point.’
      • ‘Another way of putting it is: a watched pot never boils.’
      • ‘‘Um, I hate to sound cliché, but I thought a watched pot never boils,’ Rachel said with interest.’

Origin

Late Old English pott, probably reinforced in Middle English by Old French pot; of unknown ultimate origin (compare with late Latin potus drinking cup). Current senses of the verb date from the early 17th century.

Pronunciation:

pot

/pɒt/

Main definitions of pot in English

: pot1pot2pot3pot4

pot2

noun

informal
  • [mass noun] Cannabis.

    ‘we smoked pot at football games’
    • ‘I also know that at least five of my fellow officers smoke pot and arrest people the next day for supplying it.’
    • ‘He asked me if I took any drugs and I honestly answered that I smoked a fair bit of pot and also smoked cigarettes.’
    • ‘When I was pregnant he didn't calm down, I hardly saw him as he was always out with his friends smoking pot.’
    • ‘The model here is the Dutch program of allowing users to smoke pot in licensed cannabis shops.’
    • ‘So if it's legal to go out, drink 23 pints and get into a state and a half, why not be allowed to smoke pot?’
    • ‘I mean its one thing to smoke cigarettes and whole other thing to smoke pot, or use crack or LSD.’
    • ‘Forty-five per cent of Canadians have smoked pot at least once and males are more likely to toke up than females.’
    • ‘In Vietnam soldiers took heroin and smoked copious quantities of pot and hash.’
    • ‘Comparing pot to heroin or to LSD or to pretty much any drug is like comparing an apple to a cloud.’
    • ‘This was a big problem, I was smoking pot before work, at work and at night.’
    • ‘In an atmosphere of ecstasy, pot smoking and cocaine line drug taking the evening gets out of hand.’
    • ‘The legalising campaign also points to the fact that smoking is legal, and that pot is in no way more unhealthy than smoking.’
    • ‘Thirteen years of increased marijuana arrests actually correspond to increased pot smoking by kids.’
    • ‘Mother says that just because they smoke pot doesn't mean that they're stoners.’
    • ‘Banning parties and blockading raves will not stop a movement, nor will it stop the use of ecstasy, cocaine, speed, heroin and pot for that matter.’
    • ‘You really can't have an intelligent discussion about drugs if you're going to lump pot in with cocaine, and ecstasy in with heroin.’
    • ‘As no pot was smoked in public, all charges are summarily dismissed without prejudice.’
    • ‘When are we going to catch up with other countries and realise that smoking a bit of pot is not going to turn us all into cocaine addicts.’
    • ‘Almost four of every 10 teens aged 18 or 19 reported having smoked pot or hash in the previous year.’
    • ‘A night smoking pot will cost you far less than a night on the beer.’

Origin

1930s: probably from Mexican Spanish potiguaya cannabis leaves.

Pronunciation:

pot

/pɒt/

Main definitions of pot in English

: pot1pot2pot3pot4

pot3

noun

  • 1A shot aimed at someone or something; a potshot.

    ‘my friends had a pot at the occasional rabbit’
    • ‘That's all fine and good, but to a group of yahoos serpentining around a grassy knoll taking pots at each other, it maybe seems like too much, you know?’
  • 2(chiefly in rugby) an attempt to score a goal with a kick.

    • ‘Eventually Kendal earned a pot at goal for a ruck offence and Scott put over the 24-metre kick to cut the gap to four points.’
    • ‘He kicked a penalty to the corner rather than have a pot at goal.’
    • ‘Numerous times Hunter missed pots which would have set him up.’
    • ‘Adamson failed to convert and the full-back ended up missing five of his six pots at goal.’
    • ‘Keighley were denied the opportunity to attack and a long distance pot at goal by Harrison from a penalty award was their only realistic chance to snatch victory.’
    • ‘When he was impeded just outside the penalty area, the big defender grabbed the ball and prepared himself for a pot at goal.’
    • ‘Wicklow hit a purple patch on the restart to tack on five points in nine minutes without reply and without missing a pot at goal.’
    • ‘Twice he declined a pot at goal and opted to kick to the corner despite defending a narrow three-point lead.’
    • ‘Rangers had only three other pots at goal, and the Georgian striker was responsible for two of them.’
    • ‘He set up Morgan for a pot at goal and a hard shot beat Kellett.’
    • ‘County were first to score, their opening pressure forcing a penalty for offside to allow their full-back the easiest of pots at goal for three points.’
    • ‘He provided the room for Murray to have a pot for goal from close range, the centre forward's shot unluckily hammering off the crossbar and going safe.’

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • Score (a goal)

    ‘the English Lion potted two penalties of his own’
    • ‘If Australia wanted to play that kind of game, the ARU could easily poach themselves an AFL player and train him up to pot long range field goals all day.’
    • ‘He could be a future 50-goal scorer, after potting 67 in his first two seasons.’
    • ‘Steven added four penalties and Warren potted a drop-goal in a game which was in the balance right to the final whistle.’
    • ‘The penalty was perfectly potted but Bayer still had their precious away goal, and were soon to get another.’
    • ‘Hadcroft touched down wide out and the new sub also powered across with his team-mate potting a long range field goal for good measure to put them 31-8 up.’
    • ‘The Bruins won the first two games of the series in overtime on goals by the winger who potted just 10 regular-season goals.’
    • ‘He potted the loan Warrior goal, breaking York's shutout in the third period.’
    • ‘He went the full length for Leigh's first try and Turley potted a field goal to give the dominant Centurions a flying start.’
    • ‘Lenzie led 18-0 at half-time with tries, a conversion and Yorston potting two penalties.’
    • ‘Trotman, a leader for the Clan all season, potted the championship winning goal.’
    • ‘Amos had two tries and a penalty, Gill went over for a try and Laidlaw potted a drop goal.’
    • ‘Rowley potted a field goal to regain the lead before Martyn popped a sensational pass to Cooper who raced away for his second of the game.’
    • ‘In his first game of the season November 22, he potted four goals in an 8-4 win over East St. Paul.’

Pronunciation:

pot

/pɒt/

Main definitions of pot in English

: pot1pot2pot3pot4

pot4

noun

Pronunciation:

pot

/pɒt/