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Word of the Day
Monday, September 10, 2001

Definitions for potentate

  1. One who possesses great power or sway; a ruler, sovereign, or monarch.

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Citations for potentate
The shah of Persia, although he had to acknowledge that the sultan was a worthy rival, still considered himself a mighty potentate, as did the sultan himself. Olivier Bernier, The World in 1800
How can he run the operation, an industry potentate wonders, "when the operations people don't report to him?" , Time
Origin of potentate
Potentate derives from Late Latin potentatus, "a powerful person," from Latin potentatus, "power, especially political power; supremacy," from potens, "able, powerful," from posse, "to be able." It is related to potent, "powerful," and potential, "having possibility or capability."