Main definitions of potter in English

: potter1potter2

potter1

(North American putter)

verb

[NO OBJECT]
  • 1 Occupy oneself in a desultory but pleasant way:

    ‘I'm quite happy just to potter about by myself here’
    • ‘Surely only childishness can induce you to putter around with a computer at a time-critical moment of family crisis, rather than dialing emergency services?’
    • ‘Across the manicured yard a couple of workers putter around the porch.’
    • ‘I have to have somewhere that I can potter about in - a sanctuary.’
    • ‘So will Marie now close the front door of her home and put on her slippers and potter about the house, now she has mornings on her hands.’
    • ‘With that she wandered back to the kitchen, leaving me to putter around with Robert's system.’
    • ‘So the gang started puttering around with a car recovery system.’
    • ‘Any chance of running some good projects for those of us who putter around in the basement during the winter months?’
    • ‘I rush upstairs, turn on the taps and potter about a bit in my dressing gown until the harsh, loud tone of the telephone interrupts me.’
    • ‘He is ‘not really into’ nightclubs and is looking for a quiet house ‘with a nice garden, somewhere to potter about like the old boy I am’.’
    • ‘I used to love trotting out of a morning to potter about the wilderness in my gown and pyjamas, all unshaved and generally unkempt.’
    • ‘What that really means is that I'm going to potter about with my templates and make lots of unnecessary changes to indulge my need to do something other than study.’
    • ‘I putter around my house all night, taking out trash, yada yada.’
    • ‘He had more confidence to get about and could do a lot more - it allowed him to potter about in the house, in the garden and the greenhouse.’
    • ‘You can hike through the forest or along deserted beaches, or potter about in small boats or canoes.’
    • ‘We tracked down a house in Malvern where one of them used to live, then went to St Kilda Cemetery to potter about among the graves.’
    • ‘Instead, the rooftop gardener can putter around doing a little staking and tying here, a little dead-heading of flowers there.’
    • ‘From April onwards, we potter about outside, spotting gaps where we might plant another beautiful specimen,’
    • ‘The employees manning these centres are trained to remain unobtrusive and encourage the visitors to potter about, handling the products on display.’
    • ‘We'd putter around her apartment complex, meeting the same friends of hers that I met each time before.’
    • ‘I sigh in exasperation when they putter around and block the aisles.’
    do nothing much, amuse oneself, tinker about, tinker around, fiddle about, fiddle around, footle about, footle around, do odd jobs
    mess about, mess around, piddle about, piddle around, puddle about, puddle around
    muck about, muck around, fanny about, fanny around
    putter about, putter around, lollygag
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[with adverbial of direction] Move or go in a casual, unhurried way:
      ‘I might potter into Nice for the day’
      • ‘By the time we putter slowly down the Sound of Jura, the clouds have cleared and the day has revealed itself to be a classic.’
      • ‘A few minutes passed, and the shuttle puttered past most of the other vessels, who gave it readings and signals to verify its presence and crew.’
      • ‘I was puttering along happily, doing about 28 mph.’
      • ‘She stood up once the van puttered away and walked back inside.’
      • ‘Here he comes, puttering up in his little soapbox derby car with its duck horn.’
      • ‘I trudged to my distant little-green-car and puttered over to Kilbirnie, sun all golden and slanty at my back.’
      • ‘My parents, as they potter through Camberwell and snooty suburbs walking their dog, chat away with locals and the subject often comes up.’
      • ‘Last night after I'd done some ferocious blogging and blog-surfing I began to potter home.’
      • ‘People are just wandering to church in their purple nylon jackets, or pottering along in rackety Skodas.’
      • ‘He putters to a piano whilst the band provide gentle harmonies around him.’
      • ‘At the end I was ready to be alone for a while, so I walked down through the park to Haight Street and slowly puttered along all afternoon, shopping.’
      • ‘And after a few pints, I've been known to potter home on it, slow and cautious and wobbly.’
      • ‘So they came and stayed for a little bit, and then puttered off again.’
      • ‘After opening the funky present from his housemate Meg, he potters off to the shower.’
      • ‘I think it is likely to be all about exploration first, puttering around Lincolnshire in the little blue Ford.’
      • ‘As you putter across the 200 yard channel in the old diesel ferry, the lines of pinpoint lights become knee-high lamps lining the stone pathways.’
      • ‘She potters from the gates of The House, in its evil-grey uniform, and peers up and down the street.’
      • ‘Still we puttered on, with the driver himself stopping from time to time asking passers-by on the road, ‘Ashram?’’
      • ‘All was well, and we puttered down the street, at a snails pace (not quite literally) due to all the traffic.’
      amble, wander, meander, stroll, saunter, maunder
      mosey, tootle, toddle
      mooch, bimble
      putter
      View synonyms

noun

  • [in singular] An act or period of occupying oneself in a desultory but pleasant way:

    ‘an afternoon's potter through the rooms and possessions of the rich’

Origin

Mid 17th century (in the sense ‘poke repeatedly’): frequentative of dialect pote ‘to push, kick, or poke’ of unknown origin.

Pronunciation:

potter

/ˈpɒtə/

Main definitions of potter in English

: potter1potter2

potter2

noun

  • A person who makes ceramic ware.

    • ‘Such workers - for the most part blacksmiths, weavers, and potters - traditionally constituted a distinct class, almost a separate caste.’
    • ‘There are also a small number of merchants in Oromo society, as well as weavers, goldsmiths, potters, and woodworkers.’
    • ‘Architects, painters, potters and other craftsman and artists often accompanied the monks and it was these people who constructed the great temples of Japan.’
    • ‘In rural areas Hindus perform much of the traditional craft production of items for everyday life; caste groups include weavers, potters, iron and gold smiths, and carpenters.’
    • ‘He is also helping Kenyan potters export their wares to the US.’
    • ‘It is this focus that makes him not just a studio potter, but a ceramicist of note.’
    • ‘Philostratus indeed alludes to this: the new fire, he says, is distributed especially ‘to the craftsmen who have to do with fire’, i.e. to potters and blacksmiths.’
    • ‘These laborers included samurai, cooks, sake brewers, potters, printers, tailors, wood workers, and one hairdresser.’
    • ‘This tendency was preserved during the Second Bulgarian Kingdom, when the town was the center of commerce, crafts, culture, goldsmiths, potters, tanners, and skilled weavers.’
    • ‘Armed with skills such as metalworking and pottery making, the newly emancipated Texans flourished as weavers, potters, blacksmiths, masons and carpenters.’
    • ‘Different streets were allotted for different professions such as potters, weavers, dyers, jewelers, and bakers.’
    • ‘Weavers, potters, storytellers, jewellery-makers, woodworkers and ironsmiths are still part of the village community.’
    • ‘The project, now in its third year, uses a core of eight ceramic artists who are joined by additional potters, some established and others just emerging.’
    • ‘Those who make their living as blacksmiths, weavers, potters, or musicians are looked upon with some disfavor and suspicion.’
    • ‘Soon, he was attracted to clay and turned to designer pottery, producing earthenware with the assistance of local potters from a studio in Kottayam district.’
    • ‘By mid-century there were five potteries there, and a number of potters had migrated west to establish their own kilns.’
    • ‘In other words, potters made the porcelain netsuke, and lacquerers produced the lacquer netsuke.’
    • ‘This vase illustrates the aesthetic lying behind the surviving decorated pottery, as potters evoked the effect of gold on silver in making their wares red and black.’
    • ‘Following Meissen and Sèvres products, British potters began to use china clay or kaolin, when in 1768 William Cookworthy, a Plymouth chemist, proved the potential of the kaolin reserves of Cornwall.’
    • ‘It has been my experience, in the art-show world, at least, that the word ‘clay,’ when used to describe this polymer material, has offended and angered many potters and ceramicists.’

Origin

Late Old English pottere (see pot, -er).

Pronunciation:

potter

/ˈpɒtə/