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[poh-tuh-buh l] /ˈpoʊ tə bəl/
fit or suitable for drinking:
potable water.
Usually, potables. drinkable liquids; beverages.
Origin of potable
1565-75; < Late Latin pōtābilis drinkable, equivalent to Latin pōtā(re) to drink + -bilis -ble
Related forms
potability, potableness, noun
nonpotable, adjective, noun
unpotable, adjective
Can be confused
portable, potable. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for potable
  • With the other, she would buy potable water from a kiosk.
  • Wastewater reuse is one way to reduce consumption of fresh, potable water.
  • potable water is, of course, directly required for human survival as well.
  • One can do without gas or petrol, but one cannot do without potable water.
  • Solar distillation is a means of converting contaminated or brackish water into potable water.
  • Basically a series of tubs filled with plants and microbes filter and purify the water to become potable again.
  • Clear plastic garbage bags over green leaves in sunlight produces potable drinking water daily.
  • Their base is the only place in town with potable water.
  • And the water now feeds the water-table with potable water.
  • Usually, the process has to be repeated several times in order to get something potable.
British Dictionary definitions for potable


fit to drink; drinkable
something fit to drink; a beverage
Derived Forms
potability, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Late Latin pōtābilis drinkable, from Latin pōtāre to drink
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for potable

early 15c., from Old French potable (14c.) and directly from Late Latin potabilis "drinkable," from Latin potare "to drink" (see potion).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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potable in Medicine

potable po·ta·ble (pō'tə-bəl)
Fit to drink; drinkable.

po'ta·bil'i·ty or po'ta·ble·ness n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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