[ pou-er-fuhl ]
See synonyms for: powerfulpowerfullypowerfulness on Thesaurus.com

  1. having or exerting great power or force.

  2. physically strong, as a person: a large, powerful athlete.

  1. producing great physical effects, as a machine or a blow.

  2. potent; efficacious: a powerful drug.

  3. having great effectiveness, as a speech, speaker, description, reason, etc.

  4. having great power, authority, or influence; mighty: a powerful nation.

  5. Chiefly South Midland and Southern U.S. great in number or amount: a powerful lot of money.

Origin of powerful

First recorded in 1350–1400, powerful is from the Middle English word powarfull.See power, -ful

synonym study For powerful

1. Powerful, mighty, potent suggest great force or strength. Powerful suggests capability of exerting great force or overcoming strong resistance: a powerful machine like a bulldozer. Mighty, now chiefly rhetorical, implies uncommon or overwhelming strength of power: a mighty army. Potent implies great natural or inherent power: a potent influence.

Other words for powerful

Opposites for powerful

Other words from powerful

  • 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

Words Nearby powerful

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use powerful in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for powerful


/ (ˈpaʊəfʊl) /

  1. having great power, force, potency, or effect

  2. extremely effective or efficient in action: a powerful drug; a powerful lens

  1. dialect large or great: a powerful amount of trouble

  1. dialect extremely; very: he ran powerful fast

Derived forms of powerful

  • 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