placed or enclosed in a pot.
transplanted into or grown in a pot.
preserved or cooked in a pot: potted beef.
Slang. drunk.
British Slang. (of the treatment of a subject) shallow; superficial.

Origin of potted

1640–50; 1920–25 for def 4; pot1 + -ed2
Related formsun·pot·ted, adjective




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.
  1. a vessel for melting metal; melting pot.
  2. an electrolytic cell for reducing certain metals, as aluminum, from fused salts.
  1. chimney pot.
  2. 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.
  1. an open, broad-brimmed helmet of the 17th century.
  2. any open helmet.
Slang. a potbelly.

verb (used with object), pot·ted, pot·ting.

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.
  1. 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.
  2. to shoot for food, not for sport.
Informal. to capture, secure, or win.

verb (used without object), pot·ted, pot·ting.

Informal. to take a potshot; shoot.

Origin of pot

1150–1200; Middle English pott (see potter1); cognate with Dutch, Low German pot (perhaps > French pot)
Related formspot·like, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for potted

Contemporary Examples of potted

Historical Examples of potted

  • It is potted, cut back and taken in the house through the winter.

  • They purchased fine, large bulbs, potted them, and had only leaves for their pains.

  • Potted bloater is one of the least expensive and appetizing of all potted meats.

    Culture and Cooking

    Catherine Owen

  • Her gaze was attracted to some potted roses languishing in a corner.


    Stephen French Whitman

  • He was to have been potted by his own men—both Cass and his loyal henchman, Bill.

    Prairie Flowers

    James B. Hendryx

British Dictionary definitions for potted



placed or grown in a pot
cooked or preserved in a potpotted shrimps
informal summarized or abridgeda potted version of a novel




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
go to pot to go to ruin; deteriorate

verb pots, potting or potted (mainly tr)

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
See also pot on

Word Origin for pot

Late Old English pott, from Medieval Latin pottus (unattested), perhaps from Latin pōtus a drink; compare Middle Low German pot, Old Norse pottr




  1. Scot and Northern English dialecta deep hole or pothole
  2. (capital when part of a name)Pen-y-Ghent Pot

Word Origin for pot

C14: perhaps identical with pot 1 but possibly of Scandinavian origin; compare Swedish dialect putt water hole, pit




slang cannabis used as a drug in any form, such as leaves (marijuana or hemp) or resin (hashish)

Word Origin for pot

C20: perhaps shortened from Mexican Indian potiguaya




informal short for potentiometer
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 potted

of meat, "preserved in a pot," 1640s, past participle adjective from pot (v.). Of a plant, from 1718. In the figurative sense of "put into a short, condensed form," 1866,



"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).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with potted


In addition to the idiom beginning with pot

  • pot calling the kettle black, the

also see:

  • 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
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.