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

potentate

play
noun po·ten·tate \ˈpō-tən-ˌtāt\

Simple Definition of potentate

  • : a powerful ruler

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of potentate

  1. :  ruler, sovereign; broadly :  one who wields great power or sway

Examples of potentate in a sentence

  1. <Charles inherited the position of potentate of the Holy Roman Empire from his grandfather, as well that of king of Spain from his father.>



Did You Know?

Potentate has been wielding its power in English since the 15th century. It comes from the Late Latin potentatus, which in turn was formed from the Latin potent-, meaning "powerful." Other descendants of potent- in English include potent itself, impotent, and omnipotent, as well as the archaic armipotent and very rare bellipotent (meaning, respectively, "mighty in battle" and "mighty in war"). Even power and powerful can be traced back to potent-.

15th Century

First Known Use of potentate

15th century


Learn More about potentate


Seen and Heard

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

WORD OF THE DAY

a very small amount

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?

acommodate accomodate accommodate acommadate
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