Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Fit to drink.
  • n. A beverage, especially an alcoholic beverage: wine and other potables.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Good for drinking without fear of poisoning or disease.
  • n. Any drinkable liquid; a beverage.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Fit to be drunk; drinkable.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Drinkable; suitable for drinking.
  • Hence Liquid; flowing.
  • n. Anything that is drinkable; a drink.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. any liquid suitable for drinking
  • adj. suitable for drinking

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French, from Late Latin pōtābilis, from Latin pōtāre, to drink, from pōtus, a drink; see pō(i)- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French potable, from Latin pōtābilis, from pōtō ("I drink"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • On the other hand, it is possible to obtain potable water, filing a request with the community and paying a fee and purchasing a hose to connect to the community water supply to the property, connecting with the nearest neighbor.

    Land for sale / Terreno en venta Tirio, Michoac�n

  • The municipality may call it potable water but it hasn't been processed to kill all of those nasty little bugs that make you sick.

    This means war

  • I live in a Fracc where the water is potable from the tap and pressureized, however in the last newsletter from the Board there was a note about the quality of the Fracc filtration system.

    Should I add anything to the water in my underground storage tank?

  • I wash mine, probably like you wash yours, in potable water.

    vegetable garden

  • Although best known as potable spirits, ethanol was also commonly used in lamps and in internal combustion engines in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

    Chapter 3

  • Her game is about resource depletion -- not just oil, but other resources, such as potable water -- brought about by a species that thinks that infinite growth on a finite planet is possible and desirable.

    The Trouble with Money

  • As a result, more and more people in Africa have limited access to food and other basic amenities such as potable water, minimum health care and education, effectively limiting the opportunities available to them.

    Agriculture and development in Africa

  • - Mexican border, which frequently lack basic infrastructure, such as potable water, sanitary waste disposal systems, electricity, and paved roads.

    Statement Concerning Enforcement Of Environmental Laws, Before The Committee On Environment And Public Works, United States Senate

  • Needs assessment includes more specific information such as potable water situation, common diseases, health care facilities, hygiene beliefs and practices, nutrition and available foods, and skilled and unskilled labor resources.

    Chapter 10

  • Taking an example, for instance, from the cultivation of the vine, we find that, in order to procure 'potable' wine, * it is requisite that the mean annual heat should exceed 49 degrees, that the winter temperature upward of

    COSMOS: A Sketch of the Physical Description of the Universe, Vol. 1

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Comments

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  • Interesting comparison of etymology with potamic going on over there on that page...

    March 6, 2008

  • Also in the Jeopardy category "potent potables".

    May 12, 2007

  • I found it in an article entitled "Water, water everywhere" on Interactive Investor, by Ceri Jones:

    The solutions of choice are membrane-based technologies such as water purification, seawater desalination and membrane bioreactor waste water treatment which can turn alternative sources into potable water, as well as generating water of higher purity.

    May 11, 2007