Definition of potency in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈpəʊtnsi/

noun (plural potencies)

[mass noun]
1The power of something to affect the mind or body: a myth of enormous potency the unexpected potency of the rum punch
More example sentences
  • This is often apparent in religious contexts, when the normally unclean is transformed into a positive source of potency and power.
  • Heat, cold, and moisture can also affect a medication's potency.
  • The principality of white supremacy was wrestled into yielding a different kind of potency; a power of oppression was partially tamed and forced to become a power of creativity.
1.1 [count noun] (In homeopathy) the number of times a remedy has been diluted and succussed, taken as a measure of the strength of the effect it will produce: she was given a low potency twice daily
More example sentences
  • A qualified homeopath can provide more individualised remedies in stronger potencies if required.
  • The remedies based on the least amount of dilution - known as lower potencies have less powerful and shorter lasting effects.
  • It was used to investigate the different effects of ultramolecular potencies compared with placebo rather than pragmatic homoeopathy.
1.2 Genetics The extent of the contribution of an allele towards the production of a phenotypic characteristic.
Example sentences
  • The data for these two PAH compounds demonstrate a large variation in adduct-forming potency, which should be taken into account when estimating DNA adducts formed by mixtures of unknown PAHs.
  • These congenic mice confirm the location, potency, and independent action of the C3H chromosome 1 modifier.
  • Comparison of camptothecin derivatives presently in clinical trials: genotoxic potency and mitotic recombination
1.3 Biology A capacity in embryonic tissue for developing into a particular specialized tissue or organ.
Example sentences
  • Second, an IC 50 cut-off greater than 100m M is said to be related to the need for there to be a relationship between in vitro and in vivo potency.
  • The cell produced by ANT-OAR would have all of the positive properties of a pluripotent stem cell - as well as all of the restrictions in developmental potency such cells normally exhibit.
  • These peptides also inhibited proliferation, angiogenesis, and ERK activation induced by basic fibroblast growth factor with similar potency and efficacy.
2A male’s ability to achieve an erection or to reach orgasm: the myth of declining sexual potency with increasing age
More example sentences
  • Distraught readers can rest assured that we will provide proof that beer increases male potency and eliminates world hunger just as soon we have consoled ourselves with a few pints.
  • The customers' interactions with the dancers provided not just proof of heterosexual identity, but also a fantasy of sexual potency.
  • Seal penises were thought to increase sexual potency, and were especially popular in Asia.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: po|tency

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.