Potluck meaning

pŏtlŭk
Frequency:
Whatever food happens to be available for a meal, especially when offered to a guest.

Having arrived unannounced for supper, we had to take potluck.

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A meal at which each guest brings food that is then shared by all.
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Whatever the family meal happens to be.

A neighbor invited in to take potluck.

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Whatever is available, with little or no choice.
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(dated) A meal, especially one offered to a guest, consisting of whatever is available.

Here's a good potluck of beans and stew.

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Whatever is available in a particular situation.
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A meal consisting of whatever guests have brought, particularly from different parts of the world; a potlatch.
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Whatever is available at a particular time.

The scheduled flight was canceled and passengers had to take potluck on the other airlines.

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Origin of potluck

  • The sense “communal meal" may derive from confusion of potluck and potlatch, though this is uncertain: it may be a simple extension of the traditional meaning of “meal with guests". Some works, e.g. the one cited below from 1879 New York, use the word for an impromptu meal cooked by guests at a party (rather than made by guests bringing food to a party), emphasizing the random nature of the potluck and connecting the modern “communal meal" sense and the older sense.

    From Wiktionary

  • Spelled pot-luck before the 20th century, from pot +"Ž luck. The sense “meal offered by a host to an unexpected guest" dates to 1592; into the early 20th century, the word was used only to mean “meal provided by the host".

    From Wiktionary