potsherd (n.) Look up potsherd at Dictionary.com
early 14c., from pot (n.1) + Middle English schoord, from Old English sceard (see shard).
potshot (n.) Look up potshot at Dictionary.com
also pot-shot, 1836, "shot taken at animal simply to 'get it in the pot,' not for sport or marksmanship;" from pot (n.1) + shot (n.). Extended sense of "opportunistic criticism" first recorded 1926. Compare pot-hunter "one who shoots whatever he finds; one who kills for food not for sport."
pottage (n.) Look up pottage at Dictionary.com
"soup, broth," c. 1200, potage, literally "that which is put in a pot," from Old French potage "vegetable soup, food cooked in a pot," from pot "pot" (see pot (n.1)). The spelling with double -t- is from early 15c.
potted (adj.) Look up potted at Dictionary.com
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,
potter (v.) Look up potter at Dictionary.com
"occupy oneself in a trifling way," 1740, earlier "to poke again and again" (1520s), frequentative of obsolete verb poten "to push, poke," from Old English potian "to push" (see put (v.)). Related: Pottered; pottering.
potter (n.) Look up potter at Dictionary.com
"maker of pots" (they also sometimes doubled as bell-founders), late Old English pottere "potter," reinforced by Old French potier "potter," both from the root of pot (n.1). As a surname from late 12c. An older Old English word for "potter" was crocwyrhta "crock-wright."

Potter's field "burying place for paupers, unknown persons, and criminals" (1520s) is Biblical, a ground where clay suitable for pottery was dug, later purchased by high priests of Jerusalem as a burying ground for strangers, criminals, and the poor (Matthew xxvii.7). The ancient Athenian city cemetery also was a "potterville" (Kerameikos). There seems to be an ancient pattern of association between potters' workshops and burial places (Argos, Rhodes, etc.; see John H. Oakley, "Athenian Potters and Painters," vol. III, 2014). Perhaps it was simply that both were kept away from the inhabited districts for the sake of public safety (disease on the one hand and on the other fires sparked by the kilns).
pottery (n.) Look up pottery at Dictionary.com
late 15c., "a potter's workshop," from Old French poterie (13c.), from potier (see potter (n.)). Attested from 1727 as "the potter's art;" from 1785 as "potteryware."
potty (adj.) Look up potty at Dictionary.com
"crazy, silly," 1916, slang, of unknown origin, perhaps connected to potter (v.). Earlier slang senses were "easy to manage" (1899) and "feeble, petty" (1860).
potty (n.) Look up potty at Dictionary.com
1942, child's word for "chamber pot," from pot (n.1). Potty-training is attested from 1958. Potty-mouth "one who uses obscene language" is student slang from 1968.
POTUS (n.) Look up POTUS at Dictionary.com
wire service acronym for president of the United States (or President of the United States), occasionally used outside wire transmissions by those seeking to establish journalistic credibility, a survival from the Phillips Code, created 1879 by U.S. journalist Walter P. Phillips to speed up transmission by Morse code, but obsolete from c. 1940 with the widespread use of teletype machines. Other survivals include SCOTUS for "Supreme Court of the United States."
pouch (n.) Look up pouch at Dictionary.com
early 14c., "bag for carrying things," especially (late 14c.) "small bag in which money is carried," from Anglo-French puche, Old North French pouche (13c.), Old French poche "purse, poke," all from a Germanic source (compare Old English pocca "bag;" see poke (n.1)). Extended to cavities in animal bodies from c. 1400.
pouf (n.) Look up pouf at Dictionary.com
"style of elaborate female head-dress," 1817 (in reference to styles of c. 1780), from French bouffer "to blow out, puff," probably of imitative origin. In dress-making, recorded from 1869; in reference to over-stuffed cushions, 1884. As a verb by 1882 (implied in pouffed).
poulter (n.) Look up poulter at Dictionary.com
see poulterer.
poulterer (n.) Look up poulterer at Dictionary.com
"dealer in poultry," 1630s, a redundancy, but it has largely ousted original poulter (mid-13c., pulter), from Anglo-French poleter, pulleter, Old French pouletier "poulterer," from pouletrie (see poultry). With agent suffix -er (1). Poetic poulter's measure (1570s), according to Miller Williams, is "So called because with its thirteen feet it suggests the poulter's old practice of giving an extra egg with the second dozen." ["Patterns of Poetry," Louisiana State University, 1986].
poultice (n.) Look up poultice at Dictionary.com
16c. alteration of Middle English pultes (late 14c.), ultimately from Latin pultes, plural of puls "porridge" (see pulse (n.2)).
poultry (n.) Look up poultry at Dictionary.com
"domestic fowls," late 14c. (mid-14c. as "place where poultry is sold"), from Old French pouletrie "domestic fowl" (late 13c.), from pouletier "dealer in domestic fowl," from poulet "young fowl" (see pullet).
pounce (v.) Look up pounce at Dictionary.com
1680s, originally "to seize with the pounces," from Middle English pownse (n.) "hawk's claw" (see pounce (n.)). Meaning "to jump or fall upon suddenly" is from 1812. Figurative sense of "lay hold of eagerly" is from 1840. Related: Pounced; pouncing.
pounce (n.) Look up pounce at Dictionary.com
"claw of a bird of prey," late 15c., pownse, probably from Old French ponchon "lance, javelin; spine, quill" (Modern French poinçon; see punch (v.)). So called for being the "claws that punch" holes in things. In falconry, the heel claw is a talon, and others are pounces. Meaning "an act of jumping or falling upon" is from 1825. In Middle English also the name of a tool for punching holes or embossing metal (late 14c.).
pound (n.1) Look up pound at Dictionary.com
measure of weight, Old English pund "pound" (in weight or money), also "pint," from Proto-Germanic *punda- "pound" as a measure of weight (source of Gothic pund, Old High German phunt, German Pfund, Middle Dutch pont, Old Frisian and Old Norse pund), early borrowing from Latin pondo "pound," originally in libra pondo "a pound by weight," from pondo (adv.) "by weight," ablative of *pondus "weight" (see span (v.)). Meaning "unit of money" was in Old English, originally "pound of silver."

At first "12 ounces;" meaning "16 ounces" was established before late 14c. Pound cake (1747) so called because it has a pound, more or less, of each ingredient. Pound of flesh is from "Merchant of Venice" IV.i. The abbreviations lb., £ are from libra "pound," and reflect the medieval custom of keeping accounts in Latin (see Libra).
pound (n.2) Look up pound at Dictionary.com
"enclosed place for animals," late 14c., from a late Old English word attested in compounds (such as pundfald "penfold, pound"), related to pyndan "to dam up, enclose (water)," and thus from the same root as pond. Ultimate origin unknown; some sources indicate a possible root *bend meaning "protruding point" found only in Celtic and Germanic.
pound (v.) Look up pound at Dictionary.com
"hit repeatedly," from Middle English pounen, from Old English punian "crush, pulverize, beat, bruise," from West Germanic *puno- (source also of Low German pun, Dutch puin "fragments"). With unetymological -d- from 16c. Sense of "beat, thrash" is from 1790. Related: Pounded; pounding.
poundage (n.) Look up poundage at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "tax per pound;" 1903 as "weight;" from pound (n.1) + -age.
pour (v.) Look up pour at Dictionary.com
c. 1300, of unknown origin, not in Old English; perhaps from Old French (Flanders dialect) purer "to sift (grain), pour out (water)," from Latin purare "to purify," from purus "pure" (see pure). Replaced Old English geotan. Intransitive sense from 1530s. Related: Poured; pouring; pourable. As a noun from 1790.
pouring (adj.) Look up pouring at Dictionary.com
"raining heavily," c. 1600, present participle adjective from pour (v.).
pout (v.) Look up pout at Dictionary.com
early 14c., of uncertain origin, perhaps from Scandinavian (compare Swedish dialectal puta "to be puffed out"), or Frisian (compare East Frisian püt "bag, swelling," Low German puddig "swollen"); related via notion of "inflation" to Old English ælepute "fish with inflated parts," and Middle Dutch puyt, Flemish puut "frog," from hypothetical PIE imitative root *beu- suggesting "swelling" (see bull (n.2)). Related: Pouted; pouting. As a noun from 1590s.
pouty (adj.) Look up pouty at Dictionary.com
1833, from pout + -y (2). Related: Poutiness.
poverty (n.) Look up poverty at Dictionary.com
late 12c., from Old French poverte "poverty, misery, wretched condition" (Modern French pauvreté), from Latin paupertatem (nominative paupertas) "poverty," from pauper "poor" (see poor (adj.)).
Seeing so much poverty everywhere makes me think that God is not rich. He gives the appearance of it, but I suspect some financial difficulties. [Victor Hugo, "Les Misérables," 1862]
Poverty line attested from 1901; poverty trap from 1966; poverty-stricken from 1803.
pow Look up pow at Dictionary.com
expression imitative of a blow, collision, etc., first recorded 1881.
POW (n.) Look up POW at Dictionary.com
also P.O.W., initialism (acronym) for prisoner of war, coined 1919 but not common until World War II.
powder (n.) Look up powder at Dictionary.com
c. 1300, "ash, cinders; dust of the earth;" early 14c., "pulverized substance;" mid-14c., "medicinal powder;" late 14c. as "gunpowder," from Old French poudre "dust, powder; ashes; powdered substance" (13c.), earlier pouldre (11c.), from Latin pulverem (nominative pulvis) "dust" (see pollen). Specialized sense "gunpowder" is from late 14c. In the sense "powdered cosmetic," it is recorded from 1570s.

In figurative sense, powder keg is first attested 1855. Powder room, euphemistic for "women's lavatory," is attested from 1936. Earlier it meant "place where gunpowder is loaded on a warship" (1620s). Powder horn attested by 1530s. Powder puff first recorded 1704; as a symbol of femaleness or effeminacy, in use from at least 1930s.

Phrase take a powder "scram, vanish," is from 1920; it was a common phrase as a doctor's instruction, so perhaps from the notion of taking a laxative medicine or a sleeping powder, with the result that one has to leave in a hurry (or, on another guess, from a magician's magical powder, which made things disappear). Powder blue (1650s) was smelt used in laundering; as a color name from 1894.
powder (v.) Look up powder at Dictionary.com
c. 1300, "to put powder on;" late 14c., "to make into powder," from Old French poudrer "to pound, crush to powder; strew, scatter," from poudre (see powder (n.)). Related: Powdered; powdering.
powdery (adj.) Look up powdery at Dictionary.com
early 15c., from powder (n.) + -y (2).
power (v.) Look up power at Dictionary.com
"to supply with power," 1898, from power (n.). Earlier it meant "make powerful" (1530s). Related: Powered; powering.
power (n.) Look up power at Dictionary.com
c. 1300, "ability; ability to act or do; strength, vigor, might," especially in battle; "efficacy; control, mastery, lordship, dominion; legal power or authority; authorization; military force, an army," from Anglo-French pouair, Old French povoir, noun use of the infinitive, "to be able," earlier podir (9c.), from Vulgar Latin *potere, from Latin potis "powerful" (see potent).
Whatever some hypocritical ministers of government may say about it, power is the greatest of all pleasures. It seems to me that only love can beat it, and love is a happy illness that can't be picked up as easily as a Ministry. [Stendhal "de l'Amour," 1822]
Meaning "one who has power" is late 14c. Meaning "specific ability or capacity" is from early 15c. Meaning "a state or nation with regard to international authority or influence" [OED] is from 1726. Used for "a large number of" from 1660s. Meaning "energy available for work is from 1727. Sense of "electrical supply" is from 1896.

Phrase the powers that be is from Romans xiii.1. As a statement wishing good luck, more power to (someone) is recorded from 1842. A power play in ice hockey so called by 1940. Power failure is from 1911; power steering from 1921.
power-broker (n.) Look up power-broker at Dictionary.com
1961, apparently coined by T.H. White in reference to the 1960 U.S. presidential election; from power (n.) + broker (n.).
powerful (adj.) Look up powerful at Dictionary.com
c. 1400, from power (n.) + -ful. Meaning "of great quality or number" is from 1811; colloquial sense of "exceedingly" (adv.) is from 1822. Related: Powerfully. Thornton ("American Glossary") notes powerful as "Much used by common people in the sense of very," along with monstrous and cites curious expressions such as devilish good, monstrous pretty (1799), dreadful polite, cruel pretty, abominable fine (1803), "or when a young lady admires a lap dog for being so vastly small and declares him prodigious handsome" (1799).
powerhouse (n.) Look up powerhouse at Dictionary.com
1873, "building where power is generated," from power (n.) + house (n.). Figurative sense is from 1913.
powerless (adj.) Look up powerless at Dictionary.com
early 15c., "lacking might or fortitude," from power (n.) + -less. Related: Powerlessly; powerlessness.
PowerPoint (n.) Look up PowerPoint at Dictionary.com
Microsoft computer slide show program, 1987.
powwow (n.) Look up powwow at Dictionary.com
1620s, "priest, sorcerer," from a southern New England Algonquian language (probably Narragansett) powwaw "shaman, medicine man, Indian priest," from a verb meaning "to use divination, to dream," from Proto-Algonquian *pawe:wa "he dreams, one who dreams." Meaning "magical ceremony among North American Indians" is recorded from 1660s. Sense of "council, conference, meeting" is first recorded 1812. Verb sense of "to confer, discuss" is attested from 1780.
pox (n.) Look up pox at Dictionary.com
late 15c., spelling alteration of pockes, plural of pocke (see pock (n.)). Especially (after c. 1500) of syphilis.
poxy (adj.) Look up poxy at Dictionary.com
1853 in literal sense, from pox + -y (2). As a deprecatory adjective, attested in English dialects by 1899.
poy (n.) Look up poy at Dictionary.com
pole used to propel a boat, late 15c., of unknown origin.
ppm Look up ppm at Dictionary.com
abbreviation of parts per million, attested by 1913.
PR (n.) Look up PR at Dictionary.com
also p.r.; 1942, abbreviation of public relations (see public).
practic (n.) Look up practic at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "a way of doing something, method; practice, custom, usage;" also "an applied science;" from Old French practique "practice, usage" (13c.) and directly from Medieval Latin practica "practice, practical knowledge," ultimately from Greek praktike "practical" (as opposed to "theoretical;" see practical). From early 15c. as "practical aspect or application of something; practice as opposed to theory;" also, "knowledge of the practical aspect of something, practical experience."
practicability 1720 Look up practicability at Dictionary.com
from practicable + -ity.
practicable (adj.) Look up practicable at Dictionary.com
1670s, from Middle French pratiquable (1590s), from pratiquer "to practice," from Medieval Latin practicare "to practice" (see practical). Related: practicableness (1640s).
practical (adj.) Look up practical at Dictionary.com
early 15c., practicale "of or pertaining to matters of practice; applied," with -al (1) + earlier practic (adj.) "dealing with practical matters, applied, not merely theoretical" (early 15c.), or practic (n.) "method, practice, use" (late 14c.). In some cases directly from Old French practique (adj.) "fit for action," earlier pratique (13c.) and Medieval Latin practicalis, from Late Latin practicus "practical, active," from Greek praktikos "fit for action, fit for business; business-like, practical; active, effective, vigorous," from praktos "done; to be done," verbal adjective of prassein, prattein "to do, act, effect, accomplish."

Practical joke "trick played on someone for the sake of a laugh at his expense" is from 1771 (earlier handicraft joke, 1741).
practicality (n.) Look up practicality at Dictionary.com
1809, from practical + -ity. Related: Practicalities.