There are 2 main definitions of potent in English:

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potent1

Syllabification: po·tent
Pronunciation: /ˈpōtnt
 
/

adjective

1Having great power, influence, or effect: thrones were potent symbols of authority a potent drug a potent argument
More example sentences
  • Recognizing that, there is certainly sympathy to be had for those who have fallen prey to the drug's potent effects.
  • There is no more potent symbol of state power than the death penalty.
  • But outspoken patients can be a potent force, heavily influencing whether a drug or medical device stays or is pulled from the market.
Synonyms
powerful, strong, mighty, formidable, influential, dominant, forceful
literary puissant
strong, powerful, effective
formal efficacious
2(Of a male) able to achieve an erection or to reach an orgasm.
Example sentences
  • The answer lies in the widespread assumption that ‘awakening’ a young lass is the mark of a potent man.
  • Now our newly potent man starts flaunting his favour and throws his weight around.
  • A white boy dancer must deliver an impotent, but ironic, rendering of White's (love unlimited) orchestration of potent sexuality.

Origin

late Middle English: from Latin potent- 'being powerful, being able', from the verb posse.

More
  • posse from (mid 17th century):

    The word posse calls to mind the image, familiar from Westerns, of a body of men being recruited by a sheriff and saddling up to pursue outlaws or other wrongdoers. The key element in its meaning is not the pursuing, though, but the fact that the sheriff has empowered this group of people to enforce the law. In medieval Latin posse meant ‘power’, and came from Latin posse ‘to be able’. Posse pre-dated the widespread colonization of the USA, and was first used in Britain during the mid 17th century to mean ‘an assembled force or band’ and specifically ‘the population of local able-bodied men summoned by a sheriff to stop a riot or pursue criminals’. See also power. Possible (Late Middle English) comes from the same root, while Latin potentia ‘power’ formed from posse, gives us words such as potent, potentate, and potential (all LME).

Derivatives

potence

1
noun
Example sentences
  • Those frighteningly large numbers on the left who refused to see the reality and the potence of this threat were divided from the more grounded types from both sides who could.
  • The author argued that ‘the obsession with virility, potence, bodybuilding and the sports that characterized turn-of-the-century America permeated saloons.’
  • To investigate the importance of the nonadditive gene expression in relation to the additive gene expression, we investigated the potence for all genes with significant dominance effects.

potently

2
adverb
Example sentences
  • When it was restaged at the beginning of this year in the new house (with an identical cast other than the two children's roles), it seemed as intense and potently ambiguous as ever.
  • Tensions around the increasing personal frustrations of young people, lack of employment opportunity and a surge of cultural conservatism are most potently symbolised in the re-veiling of women.
  • I really liked the sweet and tender bulgogi, in which slices of pork are cooked in a sweet and nutty sauce until they become sticky little slices of potently flavored, irresistible barbecue.

Words that rhyme with potent

accountant

Definition of potent in:

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There are 2 main definitions of potent in English:

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potent2

Syllabification: po·tent
Pronunciation: /ˈpōtnt
 
/
Heraldry

adjective

[postpositive]
1Formed of crutch-shaped pieces; (especially of a cross) having a straight bar across the end of each extremity: a cross potent
More example sentences
  • Up to now they had the ‘Or, four pallets Gules, on a bordure Azure crosslets potent Argent’.
  • The Jerusalem Cross consists of a big cross potent and four smaller ones.
2Of the fur called potent (as a tincture).
Example sentences
  • Potent gules and Or, a triskelion reversed of three armoured legs argent.

noun

Back to top  
Fur resembling vair, but with the alternating pieces T-shaped.
Example sentences
  • Potent is believed to have been originally derived from vair.

Origin

late Middle English (denoting a crutch): alteration of Old French potence 'crutch', from Latin potentia 'power' (in medieval Latin 'crutch'), from potent- (see potent1).

More
  • posse from (mid 17th century):

    The word posse calls to mind the image, familiar from Westerns, of a body of men being recruited by a sheriff and saddling up to pursue outlaws or other wrongdoers. The key element in its meaning is not the pursuing, though, but the fact that the sheriff has empowered this group of people to enforce the law. In medieval Latin posse meant ‘power’, and came from Latin posse ‘to be able’. Posse pre-dated the widespread colonization of the USA, and was first used in Britain during the mid 17th century to mean ‘an assembled force or band’ and specifically ‘the population of local able-bodied men summoned by a sheriff to stop a riot or pursue criminals’. See also power. Possible (Late Middle English) comes from the same root, while Latin potentia ‘power’ formed from posse, gives us words such as potent, potentate, and potential (all LME).

Definition of potent in:

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