powerful; mighty: a potent fighting force.
cogent; persuasive: Several potent arguments were in his favor.
producing powerful physical or chemical effects: a potent drug.
having or exercising great power or influence: a potent factor in the economy.
(of a male) capable of sexual intercourse.

Origin of potent

1490–1500; < Latin potent- (stem of potēns), present participle of posse to be able, have power; see -ent
Related formspo·tent·ly, adverbpo·tent·ness, noun

Synonyms for potent

1. strong, puissant. See powerful. 4. influential.

Antonyms for potent

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

Examples from the Web for potently

Contemporary Examples of potently

Historical Examples of potently

  • Most potently it has been effected by the characters of the preachers and teachers of religion.

    Hindu Gods And Heroes

    Lionel D. Barnett

  • She drew as potently, and to all appearances as impassively, as a loadstone.


    George Washington Cable

  • And, above all, he has preached the gospel of work, and as potently as Carlyle ever preached.

  • For all know by experience how potently the senses move the thoughts.

  • The magic of her husband's wealth began to make itself most potently felt.

    Money Magic

    Hamlin Garland

British Dictionary definitions for potently




possessing great strength; powerful
(of arguments, etc) persuasive or forceful
influential or authoritative
tending to produce violent physical or chemical effectsa potent poison
(of a male) capable of having sexual intercourse
Derived Formspotently, adverbpotentness, noun

Word Origin for potent

C15: from Latin potēns able, from posse to be able




heraldry (of a cross) having flat bars across the ends of the arms

Word Origin for potent

C17: from obsolete potent a crutch, from Latin potentia power
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 potently



early 15c., from Latin potentem (nominative potens) "powerful," present participle of *potere "be powerful," from potis "powerful, able, capable; possible;" of persons, "better, preferable; chief, principal; strongest, foremost," from PIE root *poti- "powerful, lord" (cf. Sanskrit patih "master, husband," Greek posis, Lithuanian patis "husband"). Meaning "having sexual power" is first recorded 1899.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

potently in Medicine




Exerting or capable of exerting strong physiological or chemical effects.
Able to perform sexual intercourse. Used of a male.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.