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potato

[puh-tey-toh, -tuh] /pəˈteɪ toʊ, -tə/
noun, plural potatoes.
1.
Also called Irish potato, white potato. the edible tuber of a cultivated plant, Solanum tuberosum, of the nightshade family.
2.
the plant itself.
3.
sweet potato (defs 1, 2).
Origin
1545-1555
1545-55; < Spanish patata white potato, variant of batata sweet potato < Taino
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for potato
  • This dish is a good choice if you prefer a not-too-sweet style of baked sweet potatoes.
  • Nothing more than good olive oil and crunchy sea salt turn super-simple potatoes into an irresistible side dish.
  • It's approaching the time for me to dig my hands in there and harvest a few new potatoes (potatoes with flaky skin).
  • The gnocchi sound delicious - are they the potato kind?
  • Traditional mashed potatoes are simple to make.
  • On the inside, Okinawa sweet potatoes can outpurple an eggplant.
  • We fry bits of potato in the linseed oil.
  • But even the laziest couch potato may soon notice some changes to his television set.
  • Then comes the blight, destroying most of their potato crop.
  • In this step you'll cook the potato so it's soft on the inside.
British Dictionary definitions for potato

potato

/pəˈteɪtəʊ/
noun (pl) -toes
1.
Also called Irish potato, white potato
  1. a solanaceous plant, Solanum tuberosum, of South America: widely cultivated for its edible tubers
  2. the starchy oval tuber of this plant, which has a brown or red skin and is cooked and eaten as a vegetable
2.
any of various similar plants, esp the sweet potato
3.
(slang) hot potato, a delicate or awkward matter
Word Origin
C16: from Spanish patata white potato, from Taino batata sweet potato
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 potato
n.

1560s, from Spanish patata, from a Carib language of Haiti batata "sweet potato." Sweet potatoes were first to be introduced to Europe; in cultivation in Spain by mid-16c.; in Virginia by 1648. Early 16c. Portuguese traders carried the crop to all their shipping ports and the sweet potato was quickly adopted from Africa to India and Java.

The name later (1590s) was extended to the common white potato, from Peru, which was at first (mistakenly) called Virginia potato, or, because at first it was of minor importance compared to the sweet potato, bastard potato. Spanish invaders in Peru began to use white potatoes as cheap food for sailors 1530s. The first potato from South America reached Pope Paul III in 1540; grown in France at first as an ornamental plant. According to popular tradition, introduced to Ireland 1565 by John Hawkins. Brought to England from Colombia by Sir Thomas Herriot, 1586.

German kartoffel (17c.) is a dissimilation from tartoffel, ultimately from Italian tartufolo (Vulgar Latin *territuberem), originally "truffle." Frederick II forced its cultivation on Prussian peasants in 1743. The French is pomme de terre, literally "earth-apple;" a Swedish dialectal word for "potato" is jordpäron, literally "earth-pear."

Colloquial pronunciation tater is attested in print from 1759. Potato chip (n.) attested from 1879. To drop (something) like a hot potato is from 1824. Children's counting-out rhyme that begins one potato, two potato first recorded 1885 in Canada. Slang potato trap "mouth" attested from 1785.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for potato

potato

noun
  1. A dollar: You can get this wonderful coat for 497 potatoes (1931+)
  2. A baseball (1940s+ Baseball)
Related Terms

couch potato, hot potato, meat and potatoes, small potatoes, sweet potato


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with potato
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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