Definition of potpourri in US English:

potpourri

noun

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

    • ‘Clear-glass candleholders, vases and potpourri bowls scattered throughout add a reflective sparkle to the room.’
    • ‘To his relief, he found on opening the box that it was just a bowl for holding potpourri.’
    • ‘You will find potpourri, herb plant collections, lavender stems and informational booklets.’
    • ‘A home scent, this crystallike potpourri contains Egyptian resin infused with notes of iced pineapple, peony, dianthus and white musk.’
    • ‘They were at his apartment now, replaced by scented candles and bowls of potpourri.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Keep candles, potpourri, matches, cigarettes, etc., out of reach.’
    • ‘Secondly, the waiting room smelled of fresh potpourri, not disinfectant spray.’
    • ‘Dried plant material also makes excellent potpourri and other scented gifts.’
    • ‘One method would be to take squares of cloth and make little pillows about 4 inches square stuffed with herbs or nicely scented potpourri.’
    • ‘Besides the smell of cigarettes there was also a faint scent of peppermint potpourri.’
    • ‘Gather the petals for potpourri, dry some flowers and make a Christmas wreath, scatter a few fragrant petals in your bath water.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Their girlfriends keep dragging them out to buy potpourri bowls or faux-Chinese curtains or whatever, and the guys are starting to freak out.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘An old china pot or bowl bought in a junk shop and filled with potpourri can prove a hit.’
    • ‘Would you care to stay for a spell while I assemble the ingredients to plant my ‘butterfly potpourri?’’
    • ‘The leaves are used in potpourri, teas, and cooking.’
    • ‘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.’
    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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It is likely that the success of that ballet encouraged other ballet companies to stage their own ballets based on Offenbach potpourris.’
      • ‘The guitarist duo unveiled a potpourri of music blending it with African and Latin influences.’
      • ‘I tried setting out a potpourri of mixed birdseed, almonds, raisins, and even pieces of cornbread for the jays.’
      • ‘His column is a potpourri of banal observations, some ever so slightly to the left of the American political establishment, some to the right.’
      • ‘He wanted to announce into the dial tone reverberating with a potpourri of foreign verbiage, ‘What are you doing?’’
      • ‘Advertisers are left to select a potpourri of shows and networks to reach Xers - and sometimes to throw in radio and online advertising.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘This course was developed to cover a potpourri of topics prior to the selection of advanced practice rotation sites.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘What made her sets more than just a potpourri of disparate songs was her ability to somehow convincingly bind everything together.’
      • ‘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.’
      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/