Definition of powerful in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈpou(ə)rfəl/


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.
1.1(Of a person, organization, or country) having 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, important, dominant, commanding, potent, forceful, formidable
literary puissant
1.2Having a strong effect on people’s feelings or thoughts: his photomontages are powerful antiwar 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.
dramatic, graphic, vivid, moving


[as submodifier] chiefly dialect
Very: walking in this weather 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

Syllabification: pow·er·ful

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