Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
1. A situation or circumstance in which the outcome is uncertain but where one takes a chance in the hopes of achieving a fortunate or beneficial end result. (Used especially in the phrase "take pot luck.") I like to just take pot luck when I travel to new cities and try out whatever local establishments I happen upon. I love going into old antique stores. I know finding something worthwhile is just a bit of pot luck, but it's fun to see all the old things they have!
2. (More often "potluck.") A shared meal in which separate dishes are prepared and/or brought by different individuals; the food that is brought to such a meal. Primarily heard in US. Sarah and I are hosting a pot luck this Saturday, and you are both welcome to join us! Just bring something that we can all share! Potluck dinners are a great way for neighbors or groups of friends to spend time together or get to know each other better. We're just asking guests to bring a bit of pot-luck, nothing fancy!
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
Also, potluck. Describing whatever food may be available for or contributed to a meal. The term dates from the second half of the eighteenth century and can be used adjectivally, as in “We’re having a pot luck supper; bring whatever you want,” or as a noun “You’ll just have to take pot luck.” It alludes to whatever is in the cooking pot. It also has been used figuratively for taking one’s chances on issues other than food. For example, “With the snowstorm canceling all flights, you’ll just have to take pot luck on other means of transportation.”
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer