Definition of powerful in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈpaʊəfʊl/
Pronunciation: /ˈpaʊəf(ə)l/


1Having great power or strength: a fast, powerful car computers are now more compact and powerful
More example sentences
  • Women may live longer than men because they have a more powerful immune system, it was reported yesterday.
  • She sounds invulnerable, not because she's powerful but because she's so darned nice.
  • The incidence also explains the powerful placebo effect of some treatments.
strong, muscular, muscly, sturdy, strapping, robust, mighty, hefty, brawny, burly, husky, athletic, manly, well built, Herculean, tough, solid, substantial, lusty
informal beefy, hunky, ripped, shredded
North American informal buff
US informal jacked
dated stalwart
literary stark, thewy
intoxicating, heady, hard, strong, stiff
rare spirituous, intoxicant
violent, forceful, heavy, hard, mighty, vigorous, hefty, thunderous
1.1Having control and influence over people and events: the world’s most powerful nation
More example sentences
  • It has made it far harder for determined and powerful figures to control how people see events and that can only be a good thing.
  • So a handful of votes will determine the direction of the world's most powerful and influential country.
  • There is, Richard says, a subtler but no less powerful influence at work too.
influential, strong, high-powered, important, controlling, dominant, commanding, potent, forceful, vigorous, dynamic, formidable, redoubtable
informal big, high-octane
literary puissant
1.2Having a strong effect on people’s feelings or thoughts: his photomontages are powerful anti-war images
More example sentences
  • Bold use of line and strong colour create powerful images that also provide an insight into the minds of the artists.
  • As a man of strong intellectual powers, many of his most powerful effects were carefully thought through.
  • But in the literary sphere it can generate quite powerful effects and exert a strong appeal.
cogent, compelling, convincing, persuasive, eloquent, impressive, striking, telling, influential;
forceful, strong, effective;
dramatic, passionate, graphic, vivid, moving, potent, authoritative, great, weighty, vigorous, forcible, irresistible, substantial


[as submodifier] chiefly dialect
Very: walking is powerful hot work



Example sentences
  • He is driven to silent tears, observed by Benigno who shares his emotion but, constrained by the powerfulness of the spectacle, cannot make a show of solidarity.
  • But to me it became a sense of not glamour but overwhelming powerfulness and that has stayed with me really for the rest of my life.
  • Likewise, colonial occupation gives the occupiers an easy sense of self-worth and powerfulness.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: power|ful

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