A monarch or ruler, especially an autocratic one.
More example sentences
- The Dutch tried to put it together and were able to keep it together through playing sultans and local princes and potentates off against one another for several centuries.
- Chiefs and rajas, sultans and potentates succumbed to western authority with no apparent regret on the part of their subjects.
- Like Renaissance princes, its potentates create their own moral universe.
late Middle English: from Latin potentatus 'dominion', from potent- 'being able or powerful' (see potent1).