omnipotent

1 of 2

adjective

om·​nip·​o·​tent äm-ˈni-pə-tənt How to pronounce omnipotent (audio)
1
often capitalized : almighty sense 1
2
: having virtually unlimited authority or influence
an omnipotent ruler
3
obsolete : arrant
omnipotently adverb

omnipotent

2 of 2

noun

1
: one who has unlimited power or authority : one who is omnipotent
2
capitalized : god sense 1

Did you know?

Knowledge Is Power: Defining Omnipotent

The word omnipotent made its way into English through Anglo-French, but it ultimately derives from the Latin prefix omni-, meaning "all," and the word potens, meaning "potent." The omni- prefix has also given us similar words such as omniscient (meaning "all-knowing") and omnivorous (describing one that eats both plants and animals). Although omnipotent is most often used in general contexts to mean "having virtually unlimited authority or influence" (as in "an omnipotent warlord"), its original applications in English referred specifically to the power held by an almighty God. The word has been used as an English adjective since the 14th century, and since the 16th century it has also been used as a noun referring to one who is omnipotent.

Example Sentences

Adjective Rockefeller mostly left the uncertain task of drilling to thousands of independent producers, who then competed furiously to sell him crude oil at the cheapest possible price. As a result, he was loathed by the drillers, who saw him as an omnipotent deity shadowing their lives. Ron Chernow, Vanity Fair, May 1998 Whether or not the Big Bang truly implies that the universe was created out of nothing by an omnipotent deity in a wholly gratuitous act of love, it does demonstrate that the universe is, as philosophers say, contingent—that is, it need not have existed. Jim Holt, Harper's, November 1994 Tad fixes another round and by the time you all troop out of the bathroom you are feeling omnipotent. Jay McInerney, Bright Lights, Big City, 1984 the nearly universal religious belief that God is omnipotent and omniscient Noun He pursued his own thoughts without heeding me. 'Jane! you think me, I daresay, an irreligious dog: but my heart swells with gratitude to the beneficent God of this earth just now.  … I did wrong: I would have sullied my innocent flower—breathed guilt on its purity: the Omnipotent snatched it from me.' Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre, 1847
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
The omniscient and nearly omnipotent power of AI has been called into question. Naveen Joshi, Forbes, 16 Aug. 2022 While Wajsbrot cannot confirm that the Living Tribunal, an almost omnipotent celestial being from the comics, or Savage World are really in the MCU, there is no doubt that Marvel is tipping its hat to the possibilities the multiverse opens up. Carson Burton, Variety, 26 May 2022 No human is truly omnipotent, so holding yourself to this standard isn't healthy. Tarot Astrologers, chicagotribune.com, 17 Apr. 2022 The show deals with the emergence of a seemingly omnipotent gossip columnists, and maneuvers the slings and arrows of Regency-era high society. Adam Rathe, Town & Country, 22 Jan. 2022 Dubbed Yellow Trip Road the experience riffed on rave culture and its attendant cosmos of narcotics, in homage to both the collective compassion of the scene but also depression’s omnipotent black holes. Katie Baron, Forbes, 4 Jan. 2022 Future Feeling is a genre-defying trip into a futuristic world where everyone’s emotional frequencies are monitored through Bio-meters and a semi-omnipotent trans health-care agency, the Rhiz, beams Operatrixes into homes to provide aid. Sadie Gennis, Vulture, 8 July 2021 The supposedly omnipresent and omnipotent Communist Party is well aware of the power of the media and public opinion. Nectar Gan, CNN, 25 June 2021 But incentives are powerful even if not omnipotent. Bill Conerly, Forbes, 19 June 2021
Noun
Once an omnipotent force credited with developing and modernizing Malaysia, anger over government corruption led to its unimaginable defeat in 2018 polls. Eileen Ng, ajc, 10 Nov. 2022 We are shot through with deficiencies that wouldn’t earn even a passing grade for a novice bioengineer, never mind an omniscient, omnipotent deity. David P. Barash, WSJ, 25 Oct. 2022 The Oath Keepers didn’t terrorize some omnipotent force. Robin Givhan, Washington Post, 4 Oct. 2022 The simulation is little more than digital Calvinism, with an omnipotent divinity that preordains the future. Stephen Marche, The Atlantic, 15 Sep. 2022 Over the centuries, the tiara, something of a little sister to the omnipotent symbol of the crown, has come to represent more than just a membership to the monarchy. Leah Dolan, CNN, 23 May 2022 The coalition won access to a confidential pill-tracking database and millions of internal corporate emails and memos during courtroom combat with legions of omnipotent law firms defending the opioid industry. Sari Horwitz, Washington Post, 7 July 2022 Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. John Jennings, Forbes, 1 July 2022 In a world that has no access to its history, nothing will stand in the way of men who feel both omnipotent and immortal. Cristina Florea, CNN, 4 Apr. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'omnipotent.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

Etymology

Adjective and Noun

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin omnipotent-, omnipotens, from omni- + potent-, potens potent

First Known Use

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1600, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of omnipotent was in the 14th century

Podcast

Dictionary Entries Near omnipotent

Cite this Entry

“Omnipotent.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/omnipotent. Accessed 1 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

omnipotent

adjective

om·​nip·​o·​tent
äm-ˈnip-ət-ənt
: having power or authority without limit : almighty
omnipotently adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on omnipotent

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!


Commonly Confused Words Quiz

  • vector image of a face with thought expression
  • I went to the ______ store to buy a birthday card.
Spell It

Hear a word and type it out. How many can you get right?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ