• synonyms


[poh-shuh n]
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  1. 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 confusedportion potion


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elixir, brew, concoction, philter.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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?'



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



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

British Dictionary definitions for potion


  1. a drink, esp of medicine, poison, or some supposedly magic beverage
  2. 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

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

potion in Medicine


([object Object])
  1. 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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