Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A perennial plant (Solanum tuberosum) in the nightshade family that was first cultivated in South America and is widely grown for its starchy edible tubers.
  • noun A tuber of this plant.
  • noun Any of various wild plants in the genus Solanum that are similar to the cultivated potato.
  • noun A sweet potato.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The sweet potato. See below.
  • noun One of the esculent tubers of the common plant Solanum tuberosum, or the plant itself.
  • noun The liliaceous genus Calochortus: so called from its bulb or corm.
  • noun In Bengal, the yam.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A plant (Solanum tuberosum) of the Nightshade family, and its esculent farinaceous tuber, of which there are numerous varieties used for food. It is native of South America, but a form of the species is found native as far north as New Mexico.
  • noun The sweet potato (see below).
  • noun (Zoöl.) The Lema trilineata, a smaller and more slender striped beetle which feeds upon the potato plant, bur does less injury than the preceding species.
  • noun (Zoöl.) any one of several species of blister beetles infesting the potato vine. The black species (Lytta atrata), the striped (Lytta vittata), and the gray (Lytta Fabricii syn. Lytta cinerea) are the most common. See Blister beetle, under Blister.
  • noun a disease of the tubers of the potato, supposed to be caused by a kind of mold (Peronospora infestans), which is first seen upon the leaves and stems.
  • noun (Zoöl.) an American weevil (Baridius trinotatus) whose larva lives in and kills the stalks of potato vines, often causing serious damage to the crop.
  • noun a strong, fiery liquor, having a hot, smoky taste, and rich in amyl alcohol (fusel oil); it is made from potatoes or potato starch.
  • noun (Zoöl.) the large green larva of a sphinx, or hawk moth (Macrosila quinquemaculata); -- called also tomato worm. See Illust. under Tomato.
  • noun (Bot.), [West Indies] Ipomœa Pes-Capræ, a kind of morning-glory with rounded and emarginate or bilobed leaves.
  • noun (Bot.) a climbing plant (Ipomœa Balatas) allied to the morning-glory. Its farinaceous tubers have a sweetish taste, and are used, when cooked, for food. It is probably a native of Brazil, but is cultivated extensively in the warmer parts of every continent, and even as far north as New Jersey. The name potato was applied to this plant before it was to the Solanum tuberosum, and this is the “potato” of the Southern United States.
  • noun (Bot.) A similar tropical American plant (Ipomœa fastigiata) which it is thought may have been the original stock of the sweet potato.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A plant tuber, Solanum tuberosum, eaten as a starchy vegetable, particularly in the Americas and Europe
  • noun informal, UK A conspicuous hole in a sock or stocking

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

  • noun annual native to South America having underground stolons bearing edible starchy tubers; widely cultivated as a garden vegetable; vines are poisonous
  • noun an edible tuber native to South America; a staple food of Ireland

Etymologies

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

[Spanish patata, alteration (probably influenced by Quechua papa, white potato) of Taíno batata, sweet potato.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Taino batata ("sweet potato"), via Spanish patata. Not from a hypothetical Nahuatl word *potatl.

Examples

  • The Marathi term for pan-frying is paratne, and potato translates as batata, hence the Marathi name for this dish is paratlele batate.

    Archive 2007-05-01

  • Math is “maths,” an elevator is a “lift,” a truck is a “lorry,” a flashlight is a “torch,” and “crisps” are what they call potato chips, while “chips” over here means French fries.

    Pies & Prejudice

  • Both the yellow and orange forms are varieties of Ipomoea batatas whose species name is the native American source of our word potato.

    No Uncertain Terms

  • Both the yellow and orange forms are varieties of Ipomoea batatas whose species name is the native American source of our word potato.

    No Uncertain Terms

  • Both the yellow and orange forms are varieties of Ipomoea batatas whose species name is the native American source of our word potato.

    No Uncertain Terms

  • Both the yellow and orange forms are varieties of Ipomoea batatas whose species name is the native American source of our word potato.

    No Uncertain Terms

  • Mr Nahigian was blamed by Dan Quayle for the notorious 1992 incident in which the then vice-president misspelt the word potato - adding an "e" on the end after, he said, Mr Nahigian had failed to notice the error on a cue card.

    Telegraph.co.uk - Telegraph online, Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph

  • Vice-President Dan Quayle famously advised a young schoolboy to add the letter "e" to the end of the word "potato" during a spelling exercise.

    The Full Feed from HuffingtonPost.com

  • At first they look pretty awful - this is what she calls the potato wedge phase - but she fits them to my teeth over and over again.

    NPR Topics: News

  • Financial Times pronounced its Kettle Brand sea salt and balsamic vinegar chips tops in a taste test of "gourmet salt and vinegar crisps" which is what they call potato chips over there.

    SFGate: Top News Stories

Comments

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  • One potato, two potato,

    Three potato, four;

    Five potato, six potato,

    Seven potato, MORE.

    - traditional.

    November 4, 2008

  • A person with a weird shaped body. Could be anyone!

    February 28, 2009

  • "Since English is a language that stresses some syllables and not others, weakly stressed syllables, especially those preceding strong stresses, are dropped at times. This process, called aphesis when it occurs at the beginning of a word, is more common in regional American dialects than in the more conservative Standard English, which tends to retain in pronunciation anything reflected in spelling. Although many American dialects feature aphesis, it is most famous in the dialects of the South, where it yields pronunciations such as count of for (on) account of, tater for potato, possum for opossum, and skeeter for mosquito."

    --from the regional note for possum in The American Heritage Dictionary.

    April 7, 2011

  • See interesting historical context on Parmentier.

    December 28, 2016