Potluck Definition

Whatever the family meal happens to be.
A neighbor invited in to take potluck.
Webster's New World
A meal at which each guest brings food that is then shared by all.
American Heritage
Whatever is available, with little or no choice.
Webster's New World
Webster's New World

Other Word Forms of Potluck



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

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