Sweeten the pot

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Sweeten the pot is an idiom that is about 100 years old. We will examine the meaning of the idiom sweeten the pot, where it came from, and some examples of its use in sentences.

Sweeten the pot means to make something more tempting, to make something more attractive. For instance, a car salesman might sweeten the pot by adding free floor mats to his offer to entice a customer to buy his car. Sweeten the pot is an idiom that has been in use since the early 1900s and is derived from gambling card games. The pot, in this instance, is the money that has been bet. One may sweeten the pot by adding to its value with a higher bet. Related expressions are sweetens the pot, sweetened the pot, sweetening the pot.


With few buyers, sellers were also forced to sweeten the pot, driving the WTI May contract into negative territory for the first time in history — as sellers paid buyers more than $30 a barrel to take delivery of the commodity. (Investor’s Business Daily)

To sweeten the pot even more, the winner of this episode’s challenge also lands a collaboration with the Puma label. (The Los Angeles Times)

She then sweetened the pot, adding she might be able to throw in “maybe a signed jersey, a smile and guaranteed good Karma.” (The Welland Tribune)

There’s also the possibility, if a team like the Seahawks or Titans sweetens the pot to come close to his revised price point, he will take the deal and sign on for the long haul. (Sports Illustrated)