om·​nip·​o·​tent | \ äm-ˈni-pə-tənt How to pronounce omnipotent (audio) \

Definition of omnipotent

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 often capitalized : almighty sense 1
2 : having virtually unlimited authority or influence an omnipotent ruler
3 obsolete : arrant


om·​nip·​o·​tent | \ äm-ˈni-pə-tənt How to pronounce omnipotent (audio) \

Definition of omnipotent (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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Other Words from omnipotent


omnipotently adverb

Synonyms for omnipotent

Synonyms: Adjective

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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 an animal that eats both plants and other animals). Although omnipotent is used in general contexts to mean "all-powerful" (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; since 1600 it has also been used as a noun referring to one who is omnipotent.

Examples of omnipotent in a Sentence

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 Religion offers the comforts of a measure of control and reassurance via an omnipotent deity that can be placated by ritual. Adrian Bardon, The Conversation, "Faith and politics mix to drive evangelical Christians’ climate change denial," 9 Sep. 2020 His followers referred to him as King David, Mo, Moses David, Father David, Dad or Grandpa, reinforcing the idea of an omnipotent paternal figure. Katey Clifford, oregonlive, "‘The Children of God: Cult of Personality’ | How to watch, live stream, TV channel, time," 2 Sep. 2020 If the boss doesn’t pretend to be omniscient and omnipotent, relationships with the staff will be more productive. Star Tribune, "Lynx, Twins lead the league in vulnerability," 25 Aug. 2020 An omnipotent celestial body has a lot to teach five college best friends. Sarah Verschoor, USA Today, "Coronavirus stole our 2020 college graduation. We made our own.," 15 May 2020 With the snap of a few typewriter keys, the omnipotent Lem can dispatch him to the Nereid Nebula to meet the Phools, a race of hominiformicans who suffered economic collapse after the wealthy few bankrupted the working class, the Drudgelings. Scott Bradfield, Washington Post, "Stanislaw Lem has finally gotten the translations his genius deserves," 3 Mar. 2020 The world is facing its first big shock in an era when central banks are no longer omnipotent. Greg Ip, WSJ, "A Misplaced Faith in the Power of Central Banks," 3 Mar. 2020 In China, many had hoped the supposedly omnipresent and omnipotent state would come to their rescue in times of crisis like this. Nectar Gan, CNN, "In coronavirus-stricken Wuhan, an army of volunteers is offering a lifeline to those under lockdown," 7 Feb. 2020 The past, present, and future are all happening to this omnipotent superbeing at once. Christian Holub,, "Future DC-Marvel crossover teased by final issue of Doomsday Clock," 18 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But over time, citizens in a constitutional system tend to grow wary of omnipotent institutions. Kevin Warsh, WSJ, "The Fed Puts Its Independence on the Line," 7 Sep. 2020 Although the younger generation still looks up to her, has Serana lost some of her omnipotent aura? Danielle Rossingh, CNN, "Why Serena Williams may still have the edge at the US Open," 28 Aug. 2020 Seen through the eyes of some omnipotent time traveler, our solar system—like any planetary system—is a heaving, pulsing thing. Caleb A. Scharf, Scientific American, "The Mystery of Titan's Expanding Orbit," 30 July 2020 But why must the formerly omnipotent be treated with contempt? Joe Queenan, WSJ, "The Horror Ahead if We Topple the King of Apples," 4 Oct. 2018 More modern gods are also embodied: Gillian Anderson plays screen-bound, black-and-white Media as a kind of omnipotent Lucille Ball; the quiffed deity of the internet, Technology Boy, rules a virtual world accessed via a VR headset. Tim Dowling, Newsweek, "Review: 'American Gods' Demands Full Attention and Not a Little Faith," 27 Apr. 2017

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.

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First Known Use of omnipotent


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1600, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for omnipotent

Adjective and Noun

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

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Time Traveler for omnipotent

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

19 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Omnipotent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for omnipotent


How to pronounce omnipotent (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of omnipotent

formal : having complete or unlimited power


om·​nip·​o·​tent | \ äm-ˈni-pə-tənt How to pronounce omnipotent (audio) \

Kids Definition of omnipotent

: having power or authority without limit : almighty

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Britannica English: Translation of omnipotent for Arabic Speakers

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