- a container of earthenware, metal, etc., usually round and deep and having a handle or handles and often a lid, used for cooking, serving, and other purposes.
- such a container with its contents: a pot of stew.
- the amount contained in or held by a pot; potful.
- a flowerpot.
- a container of liquor or other drink: a pot of ale.
- liquor or other drink.
- a cagelike vessel for trapping fish, lobsters, eels, etc., typically made of wood, wicker, or wire.Compare lobster pot.
- a chamber pot.
- a vessel for melting metal; melting pot.
- an electrolytic cell for reducing certain metals, as aluminum, from fused salts.
- chimney pot.
- Dialect.a basket or box used for carrying provisions or the like; a pannier.
- Slang. a large sum of money.
- all the money bet at a single time; pool.
- British Slang. (in horse racing) the favorite.
- a liquid measure, usually equal to a pint or quart.
- an open, broad-brimmed helmet of the 17th century.
- any open helmet.
- Slang. a potbelly.
- to put into a pot.
- to preserve (food) in a pot.
- to cook in a pot.
- to transplant into a pot: We must pot the petunias.
- to shoot (game birds) on the ground or water, or (game animals) at rest, instead of in flight or running: He can't even pot a sitting duck.
- to shoot for food, not for sport.
- Informal. to capture, secure, or win.
- Informal. to take a potshot; shoot.
- go to pot, to become ruined; deteriorate: With no one to care for it, the lovely old garden went to pot.
- sweeten the pot. sweeten(def 8).
Origin of pot1
- a container made of earthenware, glass, or similar material; usually round and deep, often having a handle and lid, used for cooking and other domestic purposes
- short for flowerpot, teapot
- the amount that a pot will hold; potful
- a chamber pot, esp a small one designed for a baby or toddler
- a handmade piece of pottery
- a large mug or tankard, as for beer
- Australian any of various measures used for serving beer
- informal a cup or trophy, esp of silver, awarded as a prize in a competition
- the money or stakes in the pool in gambling games, esp poker
- (often plural) informal a large amount, esp of money
- a wicker trap for catching fish, esp crustaceansa lobster pot
- billiards snooker a shot by which a ball is pocketed
- mainly British short for chimneypot
- US informal a joint fund created by a group of individuals or enterprises and drawn upon by them for specified purposes
- hunting See pot shot
- See potbelly
- go to pot to go to ruin; deteriorate
- to set (a plant) in a flowerpot to grow
- to put or preserve (goods, meat, etc) in a pot
- to cook (food) in a pot
- to shoot (game) for food rather than for sport
- to shoot (game birds or animals) while they are on the ground or immobile rather than flying or running
- (also intr) to shoot casually or without careful aim at (an animal, etc)
- to sit (a baby or toddler) on a chamber pot
- (also intr) to shape clay as a potter
- billiards snooker to pocket (a ball)
- informal to capture or win; secure
- Scot and Northern English dialecta deep hole or pothole
- (capital when part of a name)Pen-y-Ghent Pot
- slang cannabis used as a drug in any form, such as leaves (marijuana or hemp) or resin (hashish)
- informal short for potentiometer
Word Origin and History for go to pot
"vessel," from late Old English pott and Old French pot "pot, container, mortar" (also in erotic senses), both from a general Low Germanic (cf. Old Frisian pott, Middle Dutch pot) and Romanic word from Vulgar Latin *pottus, of uncertain origin, said by Barnhart and OED to be unconnected to Late Latin potus "drinking cup." Celtic forms are said to be borrowed from English and French.
Slang meaning "large sum of money staked on a bet" is attested from 1823. Pot roast is from 1881; phrase go to pot (16c.) suggests cooking. In phrases, the pot calls the kettle black-arse is from c.1700; shit or get off the pot is traced by Partridge to Canadian armed forces in World War II.
"marijuana," 1938, probably a shortened form of Mexican Spanish potiguaya "marijuana leaves."
"to put in a pot," 1610s, from pot (n.1). Related: Potted; potting. Earlier it meant "to drink from a pot" (1590s).
go to pot
To decline or deteriorate: “Since most of the businesses moved out to the suburbs, my old neighborhood has really gone to pot.”
Idioms and Phrases with go to pot
go to pot
Also, go to the dogs. Deteriorate, decline; come to a bad end. For example, My lawn has gone to pot during the drought, or The city schools are going to the dogs. The first of these colloquial expressions dates from the late 1500s and alludes to inferior pieces of meat being cut up for the stewpot. The second, from the 1600s, alludes to the traditional view of dogs as inferior creatures. Also see rack and ruin; run to seed.
In addition to the idiom beginning with pot
- pot calling the kettle black, the
- fish or cut bait (shit or get off the pot)
- go to pot
- hit the jackpot
- sweeten the kitty (pot)
- take potluck
- tempest in a teapot
- watched pot never boils