having or exerting great power or force.
physically strong, as a person: a large, powerful athlete.
producing great physical effects, as a machine or a blow.
potent; efficacious: a powerful drug.
having great effectiveness, as a speech, speaker, description, reason, etc.
having great power, authority, or influence; mighty: a powerful nation.
Chiefly South Midland and Southern U.S. great in number or amount: a powerful lot of money.
- pow·er·ful·ly, adverb
- pow·er·ful·ness, noun
- o·ver·pow·er·ful, adjective
- o·ver·pow·er·ful·ly, adverb
- o·ver·pow·er·ful·ness, noun
- qua·si-pow·er·ful, adjective
- qua·si-pow·er·ful·ly, adverb
- su·per·pow·er·ful, adjective
- ul·tra·pow·er·ful, adjective
- un·pow·er·ful, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use powerful in a sentence
The Senate, by happenstance rather than design, has evolved into what Jonathan Chait aptly terms “the most powerful source of institutional racism in American life.”
The Paleogene began with the detonation of an asteroid a billion times more powerful than a nuclear bomb, wiping out 75 percent of all plants and animals on the planet.
Clearly, it’s a powerful way to help rescue restaurants and bars.
This summer Honeywell revealed a quantum computer that it claimed was more powerful than any other, as measured by an IBM’s own preferred quantum volume metric.IBM plans a huge leap in superfast quantum computing by 2023 | rhhackettfortune | September 15, 2020 | Fortune
Then I carefully opened the trap and watched as the mole used its powerful front legs—as if doing a breaststroke—to burrow down into the leaves and dirt, disappearing in only a few seconds.How to hunt for star-nosed moles (and their holes) | Kenneth Catania | September 15, 2020 | Popular-Science
They carved a refuge out of the wilderness and then, in 200 years, built it into the most powerful nation on earth.
In memoriam, Parker Molloy writes a powerful letter to Leelah.Six Must-Read Stories About Gay Mormon Husbands and Iranian Drug Wars | The Daily Beast | January 3, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
It might be the most powerful affirmation, and perhaps even a feminist or political statement, from any public person this year.Bow Down, Bitches: How Beyoncé Turned an Elevator Brawl Into a Perfect Year | Kevin Fallon | December 31, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
It was fearless and raunchy and fun and ridiculous and weird and feminist and powerful.Bow Down, Bitches: How Beyoncé Turned an Elevator Brawl Into a Perfect Year | Kevin Fallon | December 31, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
But taking such action puts them at odds with the most powerful and best-organized segment of their coalition.
Many of their cannon balls that fell far short of us, were collected and returned to them with powerful effect.
European tobacco is lacking in flavor and is less powerful than the tobacco of America.Tobacco; Its History, Varieties, Culture, Manufacture and Commerce | E. R. Billings.
He had seen through a powerful naval glass some figures standing erect and silhouetted against the sky on the parapet.Gallipoli Diary, Volume I | Ian Hamilton
But green Chartreuse unhappily is not innocent; it is more than a spirit, it is a powerful drug.The Pit Town Coronet, Volume I (of 3) | Charles James Wills
The trains were pulled up the incline at the Lickey by powerful stationary engines.Showell's Dictionary of Birmingham | Thomas T. Harman and Walter Showell
British Dictionary definitions for powerful
having great power, force, potency, or effect
extremely effective or efficient in action: a powerful drug; a powerful lens
dialect large or great: a powerful amount of trouble
dialect extremely; very: he ran powerful fast
- powerfully, adverb
- powerfulness, noun
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