Definition of potpourri in US English:

potpourri

nounPlural potpourris

  • 1A mixture of dried petals and spices placed in a bowl or small sack to perfume clothing or a room.

    • ‘One method would be to take squares of cloth and make little pillows about 4 inches square stuffed with herbs or nicely scented potpourri.’
    • ‘Gather the petals for potpourri, dry some flowers and make a Christmas wreath, scatter a few fragrant petals in your bath water.’
    • ‘Flowers of many varieties have a fragrance so heady that they're used to make potpourri, soap, and perfume; some are also used in cooking.’
    • ‘Would you care to stay for a spell while I assemble the ingredients to plant my ‘butterfly potpourri?’’
    • ‘Dried plant material also makes excellent potpourri and other scented gifts.’
    • ‘They were at his apartment now, replaced by scented candles and bowls of potpourri.’
    • ‘From room deodorizers and potpourri to non-organic breakfasts and sheets that reek of bleach, the typical overnight stay can seem so toxic you'd almost rather stay home.’
    • ‘Keep candles, potpourri, matches, cigarettes, etc., out of reach.’
    • ‘To his relief, he found on opening the box that it was just a bowl for holding potpourri.’
    • ‘An old china pot or bowl bought in a junk shop and filled with potpourri can prove a hit.’
    • ‘Their girlfriends keep dragging them out to buy potpourri bowls or faux-Chinese curtains or whatever, and the guys are starting to freak out.’
    • ‘Clear-glass candleholders, vases and potpourri bowls scattered throughout add a reflective sparkle to the room.’
    • ‘The leaves are used in potpourri, teas, and cooking.’
    • ‘Besides the smell of cigarettes there was also a faint scent of peppermint potpourri.’
    • ‘Pretty by itself, the arrangement also makes a nice backdrop for a bowl offering party favors - this one a little linen bag filled with potpourri and cinched with a satin ribbon.’
    • ‘Secondly, the waiting room smelled of fresh potpourri, not disinfectant spray.’
    • ‘You will find potpourri, herb plant collections, lavender stems and informational booklets.’
    • ‘Listeners ought to hear the sleigh bells ring, see the vivid red of the velvet dress and smell the spicy potpourri steaming on the stove.’
    • ‘Lemon verbena is a large, open plant with sandpapery, bright green, lemon-scented leaves used in teas and potpourri and clusters of tiny white flowers.’
    • ‘A home scent, this crystallike potpourri contains Egyptian resin infused with notes of iced pineapple, peony, dianthus and white musk.’
    collection, selection, compendium, treasury, compilation, miscellany, pot-pourri
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    1. 1.1 A mixture of things, especially a musical or literary medley.
      ‘he played a potpourri of tunes from Gilbert and Sullivan’
      • ‘But, he has decided to be innovative and stand unique among the rest with a potpourri of light and classical music, much to the delight of music buffs.’
      • ‘Advertisers are left to select a potpourri of shows and networks to reach Xers - and sometimes to throw in radio and online advertising.’
      • ‘I tried setting out a potpourri of mixed birdseed, almonds, raisins, and even pieces of cornbread for the jays.’
      • ‘It is likely that the success of that ballet encouraged other ballet companies to stage their own ballets based on Offenbach potpourris.’
      • ‘Extracted as a lone alkaloid from a potpourri of nutrients in the coca plant, then processed with forty-some chemicals, including ether, acetone and methyl ketone - it is a deadly drug.’
      • ‘His column is a potpourri of banal observations, some ever so slightly to the left of the American political establishment, some to the right.’
      • ‘Programmes ceased to be potpourris: the orchestral concert, with two halves each about an hour long, became the norm everywhere during the third quarter of the 19th century.’
      • ‘What made her sets more than just a potpourri of disparate songs was her ability to somehow convincingly bind everything together.’
      • ‘The resultant effect in the hands of the drummers was a potpourri of sounds melting to create energy with their rhythm.’
      • ‘The pianist won the gold for an intricate, playful and minutely precise combination performed to a potpourri of Russian melodies.’
      • ‘The ‘other’ category consists of a potpourri of settings which include retail independent, nursing home, consultant, mail order, and managed care.’
      • ‘The trunks are undisturbed, full of my film reels, video tapes, scripts and potpourri of neglected promotional materials.’
      • ‘The guitarist duo unveiled a potpourri of music blending it with African and Latin influences.’
      • ‘This course was developed to cover a potpourri of topics prior to the selection of advanced practice rotation sites.’
      • ‘He wanted to announce into the dial tone reverberating with a potpourri of foreign verbiage, ‘What are you doing?’’
      • ‘The artist is known for his fanciful painting in which a potpourri of objects, animals, characters from the artist's past life, from his dreams, and from his everyday life are evoked.’
      • ‘Often sophisticated talk on literature becomes an end in itself at literary ‘dos’ where the semi-well-read drop names of a potpourri of philosophers and writers and ineptly dissect imagined themes.’
      mixture, assortment, collection, selection, assemblage, medley, miscellany, melange, mix, variety, motley collection, mixed bag, patchwork, pastiche, blend
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Origin

Early 17th century (denoting a stew made of different kinds of meat): from French, literally ‘rotten pot’.

Pronunciation

potpourri

/ˌpōpəˈrē//ˌpoʊpəˈri/