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[poh-shuh n] /ˈpoʊ ʃən/
a drink or draft, especially one having or reputed to have medicinal, poisonous, or magical powers:
a love potion; a sleeping potion.
Origin of potion
1300-50; Middle English pocion < Latin pōtiōn- (stem of pōtiō) a drinking, equivalent to pōt(us), variant of pōtātus, past participle of pōtāre to drink + -iōn- -ion; replacing Middle English pocioun < Anglo-French < Latin, as above
Can be confused
portion, potion.
elixir, brew, concoction, philter. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for potion
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Mrs Bangham submitted; and the doctor, having administered her potion, took his own.

    Little Dorrit Charles Dickens
  • The opium that I had taken in my potion made my head rather heavy.

    My Double Life Sarah Bernhardt
  • Or would you abstain from using the potion altogether, although you have no reason for abstaining?'

    Laws Plato
  • But is there any potion which might serve as a test of overboldness and excessive and indiscreet boasting?

    Laws Plato
  • At first poison was tried, but she suspected it, and would not take the potion.

British Dictionary definitions for potion


a drink, esp of medicine, poison, or some supposedly magic beverage
a rare word for beverage
Word Origin
C13: via Old French from Latin pōtiō a drink, especially a poisonous one, from 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 potion

c.1300, pocioun "medicinal drink," from Old French pocion "potion, draught, medicine" (12c.), from Latin potionem (nominative potio) "a potion, a drinking," also "poisonous draught, magic potion," from potus, irregular past participle of potare "to drink," from PIE root *po(i)- "to drink" (cf. Sanskrit pati "drinks," panam "beverage;" Greek pinein "to drink," poton "that which one drinks," potos "drinking bout;" Old Church Slavonic piti "to drink," pivo "beverage"). Potus as a past participle adjective in Latin meant "drunken."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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potion in Medicine

potion po·tion (pō'shən)
A liquid medicinal dose or drink.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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