[ poht-n-see ]
/ ˈpoʊt n si /

noun, plural po·ten·cies for 4–6.

the state or quality of being potent.
power; authority.
efficacy; effectiveness; strength.
capacity to be, become, or develop; potentiality.
a person or thing exerting power or influence.
Mathematics. cardinal number(def 2).

Nearby words

  1. poteen,
  2. potemkin,
  3. potemkin village,
  4. potemkin, grigori aleksandrovich,
  5. potence,
  6. potent,
  7. potentate,
  8. potential,
  9. potential cautery,
  10. potential difference

Also potence.

Origin of potency

From the Latin word potentia, dating back to 1530–40. See potent1, -ency

Related formso·ver·po·ten·cy, noun

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for potency

British Dictionary definitions for potency



/ (ˈpəʊtənsɪ) /

noun plural -tencies or -tences

the state or quality of being potent
latent or inherent capacity for growth or development

Word Origin for potency

C16: from Latin potentia power, from posse to be able

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for potency



mid-15c., from Latin potentia "power," from potentem "potent" (see potent).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for potency


[ pōtn-sē ]


The quality or condition of being potent.
The pharmacological activity of a compound.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.