noun, plural po·ten·cies for 4-6.
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OTHER WORDS FROM potencyo·ver·po·ten·cy, noun
Words nearby potency
What does potency mean?
Potency means strength and effectiveness.
It is most commonly used in the context of medications and drugs in reference to how strong or effective they are or are capable of being.
It can also be used in a more general way to refer to the power or effectiveness of someone or something, such as a leader or a statement.
Potency is the noun form of the adjective potent, which generally means powerful but is commonly applied to things that produce a powerful physical or chemical effect.
Example: The medication will lose its potency if kept in the sunlight.
Where does potency come from?
The first records of the word potency come from around the 1500s. It ultimately derives from the Latin potentia, meaning “power.”
Potency is perhaps most commonly used in a medical context, in which it refers to the strength of the effect that something can have on the body. A substance with high potency will have a big effect on the body, and something with low potency will have a smaller one. For example, some strains of cannabis have a higher potency than others. When a drug is said to lose or gain potency under certain circumstances, this means it becomes weaker or stronger depending on those conditions. While the word is usually used in reference to a drug, it can also be used in reference to a disease. The potency of a disease can change when it mutates, for example.
More generally, potency refers to how powerful someone or something is—its strength or effectiveness. It can be used in reference to a person, as in Her potency as a leader is unquestioned, or an action, as in The potency of any apology is immediately weakened by the word “but.”
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What are some other forms related to potency?
- overpotency (noun)
What are some synonyms for potency?
What are some words that share a root or word element with potency?
What are some words that often get used in discussing potency?
How is potency used in real life?
Potency can be used in many different contexts, but it’s most commonly used in relation to how powerful a drug is.
"You don't just take a couple of puffs of cannabis and go psychotic"
Psychiatrist Sir Robin Murray says smoking cannabis is a bit like drinking alcohol – occasional use probably won't harm you, "but if you smoke 5 joints of high-potency cannabis every day" it might. #r4today
— BBC Radio 4 Today (@BBCr4today) December 31, 2019
— Reuters (@Reuters) June 1, 2020
An “I’m sorry” eventually loses its potency when used to atone for the same mistake over and over again.
— IG: rivoningo_crystal (@Rivoningo_C) June 1, 2020
Try using potency!
Is potency used correctly in the following sentence?
The potency of the medicine means that it needs to be used very carefully according to the instructions.
Example sentences from the Web for potency
The problem comes at this point because the liquid loses its potency within an hour even in ideal conditions.Powdered Measles Vaccine Could Be Huge for Developing World|Kent Sepkowitz|December 2, 2014|DAILY BEAST
We need to believe that Taylor's actions yesterday are pure, or the transparency loses its potency.Taylor Swift Dumps Spotify, Igniting Turf War Between Spotify and Apple|Dale Eisinger|November 4, 2014|DAILY BEAST
If one word—soccer (or football)—sums up Uruguay, two words—Luis Suárez—capture the potency of the Uruguayan game.Uruguay’s Luis Suárez Puts Two Stakes Through England’s Heart|Tunku Varadarajan|June 19, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Both are literally depictions of magical air, evocative of movement and potency stirring inside a writhing cloud.
It is clear that potency matters, as Eric and Bonnie Kaplan discovered.
Meantime the mystery of the water's potency seems to have been solved.The Book of the National Parks|Robert Sterling Yard
Souvenirs have, in their day, had all the potency of a bargain counter in a popular department store well advertised.A Pirate of Parts|Richard Neville
Yet it forced itself upon her as something living, it roused some potency of her childhood in her, it had some relation to her.The Rainbow|D. H. (David Herbert) Lawrence
In her no barriers seemed to have been set up against the potency of drinking.The Boy Grew Older|Heywood Broun
It may be read in two hours, yet every paragraph in it has the potency of spiritual life.Comfort Found in Good Old Books|George Hamlin Fitch