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[pot-shurd] /ˈpɒtˌʃɜrd/
a broken pottery fragment, especially one of archaeological value.
Origin of potsherd
1275-1325; Middle English; equivalent to pot pot1 + sherd, variant of shard Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for potsherd
Historical Examples
  • "When it is an Egyptian potsherd," stealthily whispered Sillibilli.

  • One leg was too short, and had to be propped up with a potsherd.

  • Perhaps you are ignorant how you are to lay the potsherd on the clay at top?

    The Economist Xenophon
  • The potsherd graves are so called from the use of potsherds to cover the corpse.

    Mesopotamian Archaeology Percy S. P. Handcock
  • She eats her porridge out of an old basket and her relish, in which no salt is put, from a potsherd.

    Balder The Beautiful, Vol. I. Sir James George Frazer
  • This potsherd had in my judgment, once been a part of an ordinary amphora of medium size.

    She H. Rider Haggard
  • Now he pulls forth a diamond, now a potsherd, and he insists that both are equally valuable.

  • And we cry with the Psalmist, ‘My strength is dried up like a potsherd.’

    Chivalry James Branch Cabell
  • Shall the potsherd say to his frail fellow, Thou art weak, but I am strong?

    Tom Cringle's Log Michael Scott
  • He said, "Burning lips and a wicked heart are like a potsherd covered with silver dross."

    The Bishop's Secret Fergus Hume
British Dictionary definitions for potsherd


a broken fragment of pottery
Word Origin
C14: from pot1 + schoord piece of broken crockery; see shard
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 potsherd

early 14c., from pot (n.1) + Middle English schoord, from Old English sceard (see shard).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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potsherd in the Bible

a "shred", i.e., anything severed, as a fragment of earthenware (Job 2:8; Prov. 26:23; Isa. 45:9).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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