• synonyms


[puh-teen, -cheen, -theen, poh-]
See more synonyms for poteen on Thesaurus.com
  1. the first distillation of a fermented mash in the making of whiskey.
  2. illicitly distilled whiskey.
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Also potheen.

Origin of poteen

1805–15; < Irish poitín literally, small pot, diminutive of pota pot1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for poteen

drink, alcohol, liquor, Scotch, distillery, bourbon, moonshine, distiller, rotgut, corn, rye, poteen, moonshiner, hooch, distill, usquebaugh

Examples from the Web for poteen

Historical Examples of poteen

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

    Valentine M'Clutchy, The Irish Agent

    William Carleton

  • They are celebrated distillers of poteen whiskey, but are not rich.

  • All charged, sergeant, with loyalty and poteen at any rate; hang the Pope.

    Willy Reilly

    William Carleton

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

    Luttrell Of Arran

    Charles James Lever

  • That, indeed, was happiness in perfection, as pure and unadulterated as the poteen which created it.

British Dictionary definitions for poteen



  1. (in Ireland) illicit spirit, often distilled from potatoes
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Word Origin for poteen

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

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper