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Line breaks: pot|tage
Pronunciation: /ˈpɒtɪdʒ

Definition of pottage in English:


[mass noun] archaic
Soup or stew.
Example sentences
  • Most meals would have been some form of stew, soup or pottage cooked in a cauldron over the central hearth of the house.
  • So, Horace's simple dish would have been a vegetable stew or pottage, and it is most likely that the lagani added to it were small squares or strips of fried dough.
  • The pottage would be thickened with oats, barley or bread.


Middle English (as potage): from Old French potage 'that which is put into a pot'. Compare with potage and porridge.


sell something for a mess of pottage

Sell something for a ridiculously small amount: this is the generation which sold for a mess of pottage the finest British companies
[with biblical allusion to the story of Esau, who sold his birthright (Gen. 25:31)]
More example sentences
  • I have a sense we have sold our birthright for a mess of pottage, which has been the main benefit of unrestrained mass immigration of recent years.
  • A spokesman for the Action Group, said: ‘It is selling the public inheritance for a mess of pottage.’
  • Don't sell your birthright for a mess of pottage.

Definition of pottage in:

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Pronunciation: pɪət
lively; cheerful