Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

impotent

play
adjective im·po·tent \ˈim-pə-tənt\

Simple Definition of impotent

  • : lacking power or strength

  • of a man : unable to have sex : unable to get or keep an erection

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of impotent

  1. 1 a :  not potent :  lacking in power, strength, or vigor :  helpless b :  unable to engage in sexual intercourse because of inability to have and maintain an erection; broadly :  sterile

  2. 2 obsolete :  incapable of self-restraint :  ungovernable

impotent

noun

impotently

adverb

Examples of impotent in a sentence

  1. <an impotent ruler who was just a figurehead>



Did You Know?

A police department may be impotent to stop the flow of drugs into a neighborhood. A group of countries may be impotent to force another country to change its human-rights policies. The impotence of a prime minister may be shown by her inability to get an important piece of legislation passed. Impotent and impotence may also have a special meaning, when they refer to a man's inability to have sexual intercourse.

Origin and Etymology of impotent

Middle English, from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French, from Latin impotent-, impotens, from in- + potent-, potens potent


First Known Use: 14th century


IMPOTENT Defined for Kids

impotent

play
adjective im·po·tent \ˈim-pə-tənt\

Definition of impotent for Students

  1. :  lacking in power, ability, or strength <an impotent medicine>




Medical Dictionary

impotent

play
adjective im·po·tent \ˈim-pət-ənt\

Medical Definition of impotent

  1. 1:  not potent <an impotent vaccine>

  2. 2:  unable to engage in sexual intercourse because of inability to have and maintain an erection; broadly :  sterile





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up impotent? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to depart quickly

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

alphabet-pasta-spelling-help

Which is the correct spelling?

acommadate acommodate accomodate accommodate
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ