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[puh-teen, -cheen, -theen, poh-] /pəˈtin, -ˈtʃin, -ˈθin, poʊ-/
the first distillation of a fermented mash in the making of whiskey.
illicitly distilled whiskey.
Also, potheen.
Origin of poteen
1805-15; < Irish poitín literally, small pot, diminutive of pota pot1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for poteen
Historical Examples
  • Whatever Brady's usual habits of christening his poteen might have been, that which he now placed before them was good.

  • Send me that poteen you spoke of, and ignore the Bills against these M'Caffreys.

  • Mutton always—fish and game when there's the season for them—and poteen to wash them down.

    Luttrell Of Arran Charles James Lever
  • All charged, sergeant, with loyalty and poteen at any rate; hang the Pope.

    Willy Reilly William Carleton
  • And a drop of poteen is a wonderful thing to drive away the melancholy thoughts that haunt and bother so many of us.

  • I 've laughed more over red-herrings and poteen than I ever expect to do again over turtle and toquay.

    Jack Hinton Charles James Lever
  • That, indeed, was happiness in perfection, as pure and unadulterated as the poteen which created it.

  • A man taken up 'not for sheep-stealing or any crime, but just for making a drop of poteen,' tells of his hardships in Galway gaol.

    Poets and Dreamers Lady Augusta Gregory and Others
  • If they 're cows, begad they must have got at that sixty-three gallons of poteen you talked of; for they're all drunk.

    Jack Hinton Charles James Lever
  • A boy told me last night of two men that went with poteen to the Island of Aran.

British Dictionary definitions for poteen


(in Ireland) illicit spirit, often distilled from potatoes
Word Origin
C19: from Irish poitín little pot, from pota pot
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 poteen

"illicit whiskey," 1812, from Irish poitin "little pot," suggesting distillation in small quantities, from English pot (n.1) "vessel" + diminutive suffix -in, -een.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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