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[poh-tes-tahs, -tuh s]
noun (in Roman law)
  1. the authority of a paterfamilias over all members of his family and household.
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Origin of potestas

First recorded in 1650–60, potestas is from the Latin word potestās literally, power, control, authority
Related formspo·tes·tal, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for potestas

Historical Examples

  • The children were always under the potestas of their parents.

    Public Lands and Agrarian Laws of the Roman Republic

    Andrew Stephenson

  • It is, therefore, as regards both the potestas ordinis Church of England.

  • They further induced his father to make use of his potestas in restraining his son.

  • The Senate as such was distinct from the populus, as having auctoritas, while the populus had only potestas.

  • Where the Potestas begins, Kinship begins; and therefore adoptive relatives are among the kindred.

    Ancient Law

    Sir Henry James Sumner Maine