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[poh-poo-ree, poh-poo-ree] /ˌpoʊ pʊˈri, ˈpoʊ pʊˌri/
a mixture of dried petals of roses or other flowers with spices, kept in a jar for their fragrance.
a musical medley.
a collection of miscellaneous literary extracts.
any mixture, especially of unrelated objects, subjects, etc.
Origin of potpourri
1605-15; < French: literally, rotten pot, translation of Spanish olla podrida olla podrida; see pot1, putrid
4. melange, pastiche, hodgepodge, mishmash, patchwork. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for potpourri
  • The problem is that it is easy to see them as a potpourri of random thoughts.
  • The park's history is as unique as its potpourri of natural and manmade attractions.
  • Foliage makes a refreshing tea and is also used as a preservative in potpourri.
  • Speaking of pruning, don't turn your last flush of roses into still another batch of potpourri.
  • The ultimate result is that it is a potpourri of several things, none completed and none entirely believable.
  • Cut through the hype, and you're looking at a potpourri of the same active ingredients.
  • Click here to go to the geology potpourri animation page.
British Dictionary definitions for potpourri


noun (pl) -ris
a collection of mixed flower petals dried and preserved in a pot to scent the air
a collection of unrelated or disparate items; miscellany
a medley of popular tunes
a stew of meat and vegetables
Word Origin
C18: from French, literally: rotten pot, translation of Spanish olla podrida miscellany
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 potpourri

also pot-pourri, 1610s, "mixed meats served in a stew," from French pot pourri "stew," literally "rotten pot" (loan-translation of Spanish olla podrida), from pourri, past participle of pourrir "to rot," from Vulgar Latin *putrire, from Latin putrescere "grow rotten" (see putrescent). Notion of "medley" led to meaning "mixture of dried flowers and spices," first recorded in English 1749. Figurative sense (originally in music) of "miscellaneous collection" is recorded from 1855.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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