Main definitions of pot in English

: pot1pot2

pot1

noun

  • 1A container, typically rounded or cylindrical and of ceramic ware or metal, used for storage or cooking.

    ‘clay pots for keeping water cool in summer’
    ‘a cooking pot’
    • ‘The sequences for lamps, fine wares, amphoras, cooking pots, and plain wares can be clearly established at Corinth.’
    • ‘In ordinary kitchens of all periods, cooking pots were made of unglazed Nile clay, sometimes with a burnished slip coating.’
    • ‘These paste attributes suggest the multipurpose nature of these vessel forms, used as cooking pots and containers.’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘Transfer to a cooking pot with five litres of cold water.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Kitchen utensils include pots, bowls, cooking ladles, and spoons made of coconut shells.’
    • ‘Pliny the Younger gives us the romantic tale that Phoenician merchants first noticed that glass was formed under their cooking pots on the beach.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He stood up decisively, and took on of their cooking pots, and collected some rain water.’
    • ‘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 could understand why they would need cooking pots and pans, rope, blankets, even the sword he had taken with him.’
    • ‘They have only necessities, such as two or three cooking pots, a few plates, wooden spoons, and very few articles of clothing.’
    • ‘Fabric softener sheets are claimed to clean baked on foods from cooking pots and pans.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Without running water, women wash their cooking pots in the street.’
    cooking utensil, container, receptacle, vessel
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[usually with modifier] Any of various containers made for a particular purpose.
      [as modifier] ‘a coffee pot’
    2. 1.2 A container for holding drink, especially beer.
      • ‘Some of us probably get through several pots of the drink.’
      • ‘Returning quickly and wiping his mouth, he handed Brownlegg a canned drink and a plastic pot, which rattled.’
      • ‘The fight abruptly ended in order to save the beer pot from being broken.’
      • ‘A pot of sorghum beer is placed in the center of the room with numerous reed straws, and participants come forward to partake.’
      • ‘Ingcazi by Nala Ntombi, for instance, is a series of beer pots traditionally used by young women to acknowledge the advances of young men.’
      • ‘I refilled our mugs and returned the pot to the burner.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘She turns on her heel and quickly returns with our drinks in small, metallic pots and chipped mugs.’
      • ‘I poured the steaming hot black coffee from the pot into my thermal cup.’
      • ‘Together we drank five cups and the pot was still not dry.’
      • ‘In fact I tried several times after first filling the pot with beer.’
      • ‘Secondly, the beer came in plastic pots, so I was gone if I got into a fight with the bouncers.’
      • ‘Here you'll sit at long communal tables while waitresses in Bavarian costume serve foaming pots of beer.’
      • ‘As exotic and exciting as the double handshake was the sorghum beer handed around in mud pots.’
      • ‘A waitress will come to your side with a set of small tea cups and pots, each with a different function.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘After dexterous moves with the coffee machine, pots and cups, the Espresso is ready for tasting and then on to the other brews.’
    3. 1.3 The contents of any pot.
      ‘a pot of coffee’
      • ‘After practically giving up coffee for a couple of months, I had a pot of dark roast Friday.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In addition for £1.65 I had a Danish pastry with a pot of tea.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Ann couldn't be persuaded to have more than a toasted teacake and a pot of tea which was a ‘special’ at £1.50.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘A pot of tea for Ann and sparkling mineral water for me completed our snack at £8.15.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The competition for the night is for a pot of the best homemade blackcurrant jam.’
  • 2the potThe total sum of the bets made on a round in poker and other card games.

    ‘Jim raked in the pot’
    • ‘The highest bidder places the number of counters bid into 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.’
    • ‘Then, besides winning the pot when I improved, I'd also win a few of the times that I missed!’
    • ‘If either of these players is nearly all in, you'll need a fairly decent hand to raise the 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.’
    • ‘Players having strong hands, who are waiting to raise, don't want you to know this until you're in the pot.’
    • ‘If several people are staying, the pot will return better odds and may be worth a chase.’
    • ‘Everyone puts a nickel into the pot and you deal out 5 cards to each player.’
    • ‘The winner of the pot in the poker stage begins the play by leading a card face up in front of them.’
    • ‘Operators would rather rake the pot than charge per hand, because they can take out more money.’
    • ‘And if you happen to catch an ace or a king, that's likely to win the pot too.’
    • ‘You merely need to extract more value from the pot than you put into it.’
    • ‘I decided to just call so as to keep as many as possible in the pot.’
    • ‘In a showdown, the winner will take the pot consisting of the small antes and the bets.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Second, be as certain as you can that your hand is best and that the pot odds are right.’
    • ‘If there is a tie for either high or low, the players involved in the tie split that half of 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.’
    bank, kitty, pool, purse, stakes, ante, jackpot
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 All the money contributed by a group of people for a particular purpose.
      ‘in insurance, everybody puts money into the pot used to pay claims’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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 income of only £14,000 per annum at retirement a pot of about £255,000 needs to be built up.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We just added another $37 billion of your taxpayer money to the pot of those incentives.’
      • ‘There just won't be enough money in the pot to pay for it.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The reports says that savings can be made leaving members with a pot of £141,000 to select worthy projects.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The reality is that the Government is not putting enough money 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 public will eventually like what they're told to, it all depends on how much marketing money is in the pot.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘These included pulling the plug on winter gritting to ensure there was enough money left in the pot to pay for snow clearance.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Then people pay a bit more when they buy certain things which is a fair tax and that money goes into the pot.’
      • ‘A pot of £10,000 would give an income of around £620 a year to a man aged 60.’
  • 3informal A potbelly.

    • ‘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
  • 4US the potinformal A toilet.

    • ‘Anyway, I take off his PJs and diaper and put him on the pot.’
    • ‘Nothing like walking in on someone sitting on the pot.’
    • ‘The last thing I want to hear is somebody else's idea of good music while I am sitting on the pot.’

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1Plant in a flowerpot.

    ‘pot individual cuttings as soon as you see new young leaves’
    • ‘After germination plants were potted and arranged in stands as described above.’
    • ‘Try recycling old articles that would otherwise be junk, when you next want to pot a plant.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In hot weather, potted plants may need water twice daily.’
    • ‘For the examinations, the plants were potted and transferred to the laboratory.’
    • ‘When potting or planting, care must be taken to avoid damaging them.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘For longest enjoyment, buy potted bulbs when the buds are formed but even fully emerged.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Similarly, other potted flowering plants, including anthuriums and bromeliads, are becoming important.’
    • ‘Schizanthus are very slow to germinate, so it's best to purchase plants that are already potted from your garden center.’
    • ‘Each cage was filled with 20 potted plants of one of four genotypes of soybeans.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Fill the base with gravel, place the potted plants on top of the gravel and cover the surface with sphagnum moss or osmunda fibers.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Buy potted bulbs when the stems are short and the buds are formed but not open.’
    • ‘The only thing that all potted plants need is regular watering, plus fertiliser to keep them going longer.’
  • 2British Preserve (food, especially meat or fish) in a sealed pot or jar.

    ‘venison can be potted in the same way as tongue’
    • ‘The wife admitted that she and her husband had frequently had potted meat from the shop without ill effects.’
    • ‘My own grandmother was indeed forever pickling and potting.’
    • ‘The offal would be passed round for instant consumption, the rest potted, salted or dried.’
    • ‘One popular canned item was potted meat, which customers mixed with eggs to make inexpensive sandwiches.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The restaurant, now in its 25th year, uses a 100-year-old secret recipe for potting the shrimps, handed down from local fishermen.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Dig out the old Cookbook or whatever recipe you use and get it potted up ready for those scrummy little tartlets.’
    • ‘You can also provide food for thought with herbs, potted strawberries and tomatoes.’
  • 3British Billiards

    another term for pocket
    • ‘He potted 13 reds and 12 blacks before losing position on the colour.’
    • ‘Dave swiftly potted 4 balls then Roy potted 2 and then forced Dave to foul.’
    • ‘Michael failed to pot an easy pink, which will haunt him for a long time.’
    • ‘I couldn't pot a long ball and I had no run all day.’
    • ‘He is unfortunate to snooker himself in the pack after potting a long red.’
    • ‘But then he potted an audacious red to begin a run of 29.’
    • ‘The new pool rule he introduced involved only using one hand to pot the black.’
    • ‘He should have potted the pink and I think his head dropped after that.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Frame six of a match King eventually won was literally a comedy of errors, neither player able to pot black and kill the frame.’
  • 4informal Hit or kill (someone or something) by shooting.

    ‘he was shot in the eye as neighbors 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.’

Phrases

  • for the pot

    • For food or cooking.

      ‘hens provided eggs as well as meat for the pot’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We're not talking about peasants supplementing their diet by hunting game for the pot.’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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 Government has ruled that it is now illegal to shoot a crow, rook or pigeon for the pot without scaring it first.’
      • ‘The few people who do go shooting on this land only get what is needed 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.’
  • go to pot

    • informal Deteriorate through neglect.

      ‘the foundry was allowed to go to pot in the seventies’
      • ‘My late night writing session went to pot, as it were.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He added: ‘Since the government brought in this zero tolerance on crime, the country has gone to pot.’’
      • ‘New York and Chicago got many great art deco masterpieces, and then architecture went to pot for 30 years.’
      • ‘She added: ‘I was proud of working here but now look at it, it's 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      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.

      • ‘But it was a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Well now, isn't this a fine case of the pot calling the kettle black?’
      • ‘To be fair, my own criticism is an example 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?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Forgive me for mentioning it, but isn't it 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.’
      • ‘Yes, I realise this is a prime example of the pot calling the kettle black.’
      • ‘All said and done, is this a case of the pot calling the kettle black?’
  • pot of gold

  • shit (or piss) or get off the pot

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

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

/pät/

Main definitions of pot in English

: pot1pot2

pot2

noun

informal
  • Cannabis.

    • ‘The model here is the Dutch program of allowing users to smoke pot in licensed cannabis shops.’
    • ‘Comparing pot to heroin or to LSD or to pretty much any drug is like comparing an apple to a cloud.’
    • ‘In Vietnam soldiers took heroin and smoked copious quantities of pot and hash.’
    • ‘He asked me if I took any drugs and I honestly answered that I smoked a fair bit of pot and also smoked cigarettes.’
    • ‘A night smoking pot will cost you far less than a night on the beer.’
    • ‘In an atmosphere of ecstasy, pot smoking and cocaine line drug taking the evening gets out of hand.’
    • ‘This was a big problem, I was smoking pot before work, at work and at night.’
    • ‘Thirteen years of increased marijuana arrests actually correspond to increased pot smoking by kids.’
    • ‘Almost four of every 10 teens aged 18 or 19 reported having smoked pot or hash in the previous year.’
    • ‘I mean its one thing to smoke cigarettes and whole other thing to smoke pot, or use crack or LSD.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I also know that at least five of my fellow officers smoke pot and arrest people the next day for supplying it.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘When I was pregnant he didn't calm down, I hardly saw him as he was always out with his friends smoking pot.’
    • ‘The legalising campaign also points to the fact that smoking is legal, and that pot is in no way more unhealthy than smoking.’
    • ‘Forty-five per cent of Canadians have smoked pot at least once and males are more likely to toke up than females.’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘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.’

Origin

1930s: probably from Mexican Spanish potiguaya cannabis leaves.

Pronunciation:

pot

/pät/