• WordNet 3.6
    • n potato an edible tuber native to South America; a staple food of Ireland
    • n potato annual native to South America having underground stolons bearing edible starchy tubers; widely cultivated as a garden vegetable; vines are poisonous
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

The Potato Caterpillar The Potato Caterpillar
pan, kettle, potatoes and chicken feet pan, kettle, potatoes and chicken feet
Granules of Potato Starch Granules of Potato Starch

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: In 1952, the first TV toy commercial aired. It was for Mr. Potato Head
    • n Potato (Bot) A plant (Solanum tuberosum) of the Nightshade family, and its esculent farinaceous tuber, of which there are numerous varieties used for food. It is native of South America, but a form of the species is found native as far north as New Mexico.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: There have been over fifty million Mr. Potato Heads sold since it came out in 1952
    • n potato The sweet potato. See below. [This was the original application of the name, and it is in this sense that the word is generally to be understood when used by English writers down to the middle of the seventeenth century.]
    • n potato One of the esculent tubers of the common plant Solanum tuberosum, or the plant itself. The potato is a native of the Andes, particularly in Chili and Peru, but in the variant boreale it reaches north to New Mexico. It was probably first introduced into Europe from the region of Quito by the Spaniards, in the earlier part of the fifteenth century. In 1586 it was brought to England from Virginia, where, however, it was probably derived from a Spanish source. Its progress in Europe was slow, its culture, even in Ireland, not becoming general till the middle of the eighteenth century; but it is now a staple food in most temperate climates. The fruit of the potato-plant is a worthless green berry; its useful product is the underground tubers, which in the wild plant are small, but are much enlarged under cultivation. These tubers, which are of a roundish or oblong shape, sometimes flattish, are set with “eyes,” really the axils of rudimentary leaves, containing ordinarily several buds, and it is by means of these that the plant is usually propagated. The food-value of the potato lies mostly in starch, of which it contains from 15 to 20 or 25 per cent. It is deflcient in albuminoids and phosphates. Besides their ordinary food-use. potatoes are a source of manufactured starch; and spirits are now distilled from them to a considerable extent, chiefly in Germany. The tops (in America called vines, in England halms, in Scotland shaws) contain, together with the fruit, a poisonous alkaloid, solanin, absent in the tubers except when exposed to the sun. The varieties of the potato are numerous. The crop is often seriously injured by the potato-beetle and the potato-rot. To distinguish it from the yellow sweet potato, this plant is sometimes called white potato or (from its being one of the chief food-staples in Ireland) Irish potato.
    • n potato The liliaceous genus Calochortus: so called from its bulb or corm.
    • n potato In Bengal, the yam.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The vegetable that is eaten most by Americans is potatoes. On average, a person eats about 140 pounds of potatoes annually
    • n Potato pō-tā′tō one of the tubers of a plant almost universally cultivated for food in the temperate parts of the globe: the plant itself
    • ***


  • Sir Thomas Overbore
    Sir Thomas Overbore
    “The person who has nothing to brag about but their ancestors is like a potato; the best part of them is underground.”
  • Woody Allen
    “Comedy just pokes at problems, rarely confronts them squarely. Drama is like a plate of meat and potatoes, comedy is rather the dessert, a bit like meringue.”
  • Georg C. Lichtenberg
    “If there were only turnips and potatoes in the world, someone would complain that plants grow the wrong way.”
  • Irish Proverb
    Irish Proverb
    “It is easy to halve the potato where there is love.”
  • Bette Davis
    “To fulfill a dream to be allowed to sweat over lonely labor, to be given a chance to create, is the meat and potatoes of life. The money is the gravy.”
  • Alan W. Watts
    Alan W. Watts
    “Zen does not confuse spirituality with thinking about God while one is peeling potatoes. Zen spirituality is just to peel the potatoes.”


Couch potato - A couch potato is an extremely idle or lazy person who chooses to spend most of their leisure time horizontal in front of the TV and eats a diet that is mainly junk food.
Hot potato - A problem or issue that is very controversial and no one wants to deal with is a hot potato.
Meat and potatoes - The meat and potatoes is the most important part of something. A meat and potatoes person is someone who prefers plain things to fancy ones.
Small potatoes - Someone or something that is unimportant is small potatoes.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Sp. patata, potato, batata, sweet potato, from the native American name (probably batata,) in Hayti
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Sp. patata, batata, orig. Haytian.


In literature:

Mormon Joe shook his head and turned back to his task of peeling potatoes.
"The Fighting Shepherdess" by Caroline Lockhart
You might get the potatoes on now, Myry.
"The Best Short Stories of 1919" by Various
And Nell, trot to the shed, darling, and bring mother a nice lot of potatoes.
"Carl and the Cotton Gin" by Sara Ware Bassett
Pare and slice 5 potatoes, add them to the stew and simmer an hour longer.
"365 Luncheon Dishes" by Anonymous
Boil and mash as many potatoes as desired, using about one-half pound of soaked and drained codfish to a pound of potatoes.
"The Community Cook Book" by Anonymous
Brown some potatoes in oil, fat or butter, previously cutting them into sections.
"The Italian Cook Book" by Maria Gentile
Recall this same colour in water in which potatoes, cabbage, or other vegetables have been cooked.
"Ontario Teachers' Manuals: Household Management" by Ministry of Education
Wheat, corn, potatoes, and things like that.
"Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States from Interviews with Former Slaves, Arkansas Narratives, Part 4" by Work Projects Administration
The potatoes are as hard as quartz pebbles, sugar and salt become stony masses, and even wine assumes a solid form.
"Northern Travel" by Bayard Taylor
Potato: Analyses of six varieties.
"The Stock-Feeder's Manual" by Charles Alexander Cameron

In poetry:

For cleaning the windows
(Or least ways in breeches)
And planting potatoes
And scrapping out ditches.
"A Question" by Cicely Fox Smith
There stood a potato-man
In the midst of all the wet;
He stood with his 'tato-can
In the lonely Hay-market.
"The Speculators" by William Makepeace Thackeray
No doubt with "shepherds" of this time
He's not the "clean potato",
Because — excuse me for my rhyme —
He pinned his faith to Plato.
"A Hyde Park Larrikin" by Henry Kendall
Bonny Bess and rosy Kate
Are gone down through the gate,
Twain fairer are seldom afield;
And with each a handy fork,
They set cheerfully to work
At the drills which the potatoes yield.
"Autumn And Winter." by Samuel Bamford
Or where ripe apples pelt with gold
Some barn--around which, coned with snow,
The wild-potato blooms--she mounts its old
Mossed roof, and through warped sides, the knots have holed,
Lets her long glances glow
Into the loft below.
"Summer Noontide" by Madison Julius Cawein
At one time the tillers of the soil cursed the traveller who brought the
potato, the substitute for bread, the poor man's daily food…. They shook
the precious gift out of his outstretched hands, flung it in the mud,
trampled it underfoot.
"'Thou shalt Hear The Fool's Judgment....'--_Pushkin_" by Ivan Turgenev

In news:

30 minutes Total time: 1 hour Put potatoes in a large pot and add enough generously salted water to cover potatoes by 2 inches.
Old Fashioned Potato Bread (recipe from the 1992 Hastings Potato & Cabbage Festival).
Conditions at Albany, Southwest Georgia Regional Airport, GA. Old Fashioned Potato Bread (recipe from the 1992 Hastings Potato & Cabbage Festival).
This change was made in response to a survey conducted by Mann to determine why fresh-cut sweet potato sales were lagging behind a spike seen in frozen sweet potato sales.
In a bowl, mix potatoes, oil, and seasonings well so all potatoes are coated.
The secret to gnocchi is in the potato - and not just any potato.
3 pounds waxy potatoes, unpeeled (about 7 potatoes).
Yes, in celebration of 75 years of Idaho Potatoes, the Famous Idaho Potato Truck will be touring the country.
Hot potato 10 new baked potato toppings you haven't tried.
Itzayana Jimenez, 10, of Oxnard reacts after being caught with the potato during a game of hot potato at a Dia de las Ninos celebration put on by The Mixteco/Indigena Community Organizing Project on April 25, 2009.
Potato tubers used for the manufacture of potato chips and fries need to meet stringent quality control guidelines.
Cook potatoes as you would normally for mashed potato es.
Lisa Storm Fink's recipe for Cheesy Crockpot Potatoes, plus links to some other potato side-dish recipes.
One entrepreneur in Spokane, WA, takes the potato to greater heights with his introduction of Spud Spikes® Potato Nails and Spud Spikes® Potato Seasoning.
Whether swapping standard white potatoes for sweet potatoes in a game day potato skins recipe or mashing the sweet spuds as part of a reinvented potato casserole, opportunities to incorporate sweet potatoes in home-cooked recipes are endless.

In science:

In the same way we may wonder how many sandwiches, potato chips or cigarretes would be necessary for the most intelligent among our scientists to understand the key scientific and technological results of a much more advanced civilization.
Brane Worlds, the Subanthropic Principle and the Undetectability Conjecture
In the food industry, some little elements with a negative curvature surface do exist, these potato "negachips" can be purchased in supermarkets.
Bigravity : A bimetric model of the Universe. Positive and negative gravitational lensings
Figure 1 above shows visualization of light reflection from spheres having a radius of 1 cm in two cases - a potato, on the left, and marble, on the right.
Surface Curvature Effects on Reflectance from Translucent Materials
Figure 1: A spherical potato (left) and a marble sphere (right) illuminated with a stencil beam, which enters at the image center, normally to the image plane.
Surface Curvature Effects on Reflectance from Translucent Materials
However, our investigation shows that this underestimation is small when curvature radiuses are of the scale of several centimeters and more for such materials as marble, potato, human tissue.
Surface Curvature Effects on Reflectance from Translucent Materials