• synonyms


See more synonyms for potent on Thesaurus.com
  1. powerful; mighty: a potent fighting force.
  2. cogent; persuasive: Several potent arguments were in his favor.
  3. producing powerful physical or chemical effects: a potent drug.
  4. having or exercising great power or influence: a potent factor in the economy.
  5. (of a male) capable of sexual intercourse.
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Origin of potent1

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


See more synonyms for potent on Thesaurus.com
1. strong, puissant. See powerful. 4. influential.


1. weak. 4. ineffectual.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for potently

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • 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


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

Word Origin

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


  1. heraldry (of a cross) having flat bars across the ends of the arms
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Word Origin

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

potently in Medicine


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