Main definitions of potter in English

: potter1potter2

potter1

(North American putter)

verb

[no object]
  • 1Occupy oneself in a desultory but pleasant way.

    ‘I'm quite happy just to potter about by myself here’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Across the manicured yard a couple of workers putter around the porch.’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘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 sigh in exasperation when they putter around and block the aisles.’
    • ‘The employees manning these centres are trained to remain unobtrusive and encourage the visitors to potter about, handling the products on display.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘So the gang started puttering around with a car recovery system.’
    • ‘We'd putter around her apartment complex, meeting the same friends of hers that I met each time before.’
    • ‘You can hike through the forest or along deserted beaches, or potter about in small boats or canoes.’
    • ‘I putter around my house all night, taking out trash, yada yada.’
    • ‘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’.’
    • ‘With that she wandered back to the kitchen, leaving me to putter around with Robert's system.’
    • ‘Instead, the rooftop gardener can putter around doing a little staking and tying here, a little dead-heading of flowers there.’
    • ‘Any chance of running some good projects for those of us who putter around in the basement during the winter months?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘From April onwards, we potter about outside, spotting gaps where we might plant another beautiful specimen,’
    • ‘I used to love trotting out of a morning to potter about the wilderness in my gown and pyjamas, all unshaved and generally unkempt.’
    • ‘I have to have somewhere that I can potter about in - a sanctuary.’
    do nothing much, amuse oneself, tinker about, tinker around, fiddle about, fiddle around, footle about, footle around, do odd jobs
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1with adverbial of direction Move or go in a casual, unhurried way.
      ‘I might potter into Nice for the day’
      • ‘And after a few pints, I've been known to potter home on it, slow and cautious and wobbly.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘After opening the funky present from his housemate Meg, he potters off to the shower.’
      • ‘He putters to a piano whilst the band provide gentle harmonies around him.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘So they came and stayed for a little bit, and then puttered off again.’
      • ‘I trudged to my distant little-green-car and puttered over to Kilbirnie, sun all golden and slanty at my back.’
      • ‘Here he comes, puttering up in his little soapbox derby car with its duck horn.’
      • ‘Last night after I'd done some ferocious blogging and blog-surfing I began to potter home.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘People are just wandering to church in their purple nylon jackets, or pottering along in rackety Skodas.’
      • ‘All was well, and we puttered down the street, at a snails pace (not quite literally) due to all the traffic.’
      • ‘I was puttering along happily, doing about 28 mph.’
      • ‘She stood up once the van puttered away and walked back inside.’
      • ‘Still we puttered on, with the driver himself stopping from time to time asking passers-by on the road, ‘Ashram?’’
      • ‘She potters from the gates of The House, in its evil-grey uniform, and peers up and down the street.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘My parents, as they potter through Camberwell and snooty suburbs walking their dog, chat away with locals and the subject often comes up.’
      amble, wander, meander, stroll, saunter, maunder
      View synonyms

noun

  • 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.

    • ‘Weavers, potters, storytellers, jewellery-makers, woodworkers and ironsmiths are still part of the village community.’
    • ‘By mid-century there were five potteries there, and a number of potters had migrated west to establish their own kilns.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In other words, potters made the porcelain netsuke, and lacquerers produced the lacquer netsuke.’
    • ‘Different streets were allotted for different professions such as potters, weavers, dyers, jewelers, and bakers.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Such workers - for the most part blacksmiths, weavers, and potters - traditionally constituted a distinct class, almost a separate caste.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It is this focus that makes him not just a studio potter, but a ceramicist of note.’
    • ‘He is also helping Kenyan potters export their wares to the US.’
    • ‘Those who make their living as blacksmiths, weavers, potters, or musicians are looked upon with some disfavor and suspicion.’
    • ‘These laborers included samurai, cooks, sake brewers, potters, printers, tailors, wood workers, and one hairdresser.’
    • ‘There are also a small number of merchants in Oromo society, as well as weavers, goldsmiths, potters, and woodworkers.’
    • ‘Armed with skills such as metalworking and pottery making, the newly emancipated Texans flourished as weavers, potters, blacksmiths, masons and carpenters.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

potter

/ˈpɒtə/