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

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Knowledge Is Power: Defining Omnipotent

The word omnipotent made its way into English through Anglo-French, but it ultimately comes from a combination of 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 ruler"), it was originally applied specifically to the power held by an almighty deity. 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.

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
Citizens began to ask why the supposedly omnipotent Chinese Communist Party was powerless against ragtag hoodlums in the poorest fringes of Asia’s poorest nations. TIME, 21 Mar. 2024 Putin’s presentation of himself as an omnipotent savior—the only one who can steer Russia’s destiny—thus presents a long-term risk for the regime. Michael Kimmage, Foreign Affairs, 13 Mar. 2024 See all Example Sentences for omnipotent 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'omnipotent.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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

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Dictionary Entries Near omnipotent

Cite this Entry

“Omnipotent.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/omnipotent. Accessed 18 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

omnipotent

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

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