The noun potpourri can refer to a mixture or collection of seemingly unrelated items, an unusual assortment. You may own a potpourri of books — from classic literature to trashy novels and from Shakespeare's plays to comic books.

The noun potpourri often refers to a scented mixture of spices and dried flowers that is usually kept in a decorative bowl or jar and used to perfume a room. What's interesting is that the name for this attractively fragrant mixture comes from the French phrase pot pourri, which literally means "rotten pot." The phrase was used to describe a stew. Clearly, some things translate better than others.

Definitions of potpourri

n a collection containing a variety of sorts of things

assortment, miscellanea, miscellany, mixed bag, mixture, motley, salmagundi, smorgasbord, variety
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grab bag
an assortment of miscellaneous items
witch's brew, witches' brew, witches' broth
a fearsome mixture
a variety of different things or activities
an assortment of things from which a choice can be made
farrago, gallimaufry, hodgepodge, hotchpotch, melange, mingle-mangle, mishmash, oddments, odds and ends, omnium-gatherum, ragbag
a motley assortment of things
alphabet soup
a confusing assortment
an assortment of various samples
a range of frequencies between two limits
Type of:
accumulation, aggregation, assemblage, collection
several things grouped together or considered as a whole

n a musical composition consisting of a series of songs or other musical pieces from various sources

medley, pastiche
Type of:
composition, musical composition, opus, piece, piece of music
a musical work that has been created

n a jar of mixed flower petals and spices used as perfume

Type of:
essence, perfume
a toiletry that emits and diffuses a fragrant odor

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