[ poht-n-teyt ]
/ ˈpoʊt nˌteɪt /


a person who possesses great power, as a sovereign, monarch, or ruler.

Origin of potentate

1350–1400; Middle English < Late Latin potentātus potentate, Latin: power, dominion. See potent1, -ate3
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for potentate

British Dictionary definitions for potentate


/ (ˈpəʊtənˌteɪt) /


a person who possesses great power or authority, esp a ruler or monarch

Word Origin for potentate

C14: from Late Latin potentātus ruler, from Latin: rule, command, from potens powerful, 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 potentate



c.1400, from Old French potentat and directly from Late Latin potentatus "a ruler," also "political power," from Latin potentatus "might, power, rule, dominion," from potentem (nominative potens) "powerful" (see potent).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper