po·​ten·​cy | \ ˈpō-tᵊn(t)-sē How to pronounce potency (audio) \
plural potencies

Definition of potency

1a : force, power
b : the quality or state of being potent
c : the ability or capacity to achieve or bring about a particular result

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Examples of potency in a Sentence

The drug can improve sexual potency. vitamins of high potency that should be taken only in the proper dosage

Recent Examples on the Web

Their potency on the break can be utilised against the top six more so, who leave space in behind for teams to exploit. SI.com, "Diogo Jota: Why 2019/20 Could Be the Wolves Forward's Breakthrough as a Premier League Superstar," 9 Aug. 2019 This time, the potential backlash against SoulCycle isn’t for the price of its classes or its cultural potency, but the chairman’s links with President Trump. Alan Murray, Fortune, "Readers Respond to Walmart’s Gun Sales: CEO Daily," 9 Aug. 2019 Magnets are a mystery that has baffled scientists and philosophers for millennia, and researchers still don’t fully understand the properties that give magnetic fields their potency. Joshua Rapp Learn, Smithsonian, "Mesoamerican Sculptures Reveal Early Knowledge of Magnetism," 6 Aug. 2019 The synthetic opioid is often added to heroin to increase its potency. Fox News, "Former Mexican cop illegally in US is charged with trafficking enough fentanyl to kill more than 10 million people," 27 July 2019 The Handmaid’s Tale, once a window into the interiority of a woman whose mind was her only release, has long since lost its potency. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "In Defense of Big Little Lies’ Second Season," 22 July 2019 The policy says her office will not prosecute cases alleging possession of less than four ounces of marijuana unless investigators can provide lab tests proving its potency. Sami Sparber, ExpressNews.com, "New law shouldn’t stop prosecution of low-level pot cases, top Texas officials say," 18 July 2019 Matt Chapman’s hot streak gets hotter Chapman’s bat caught fire sometime in mid-June, but his offensive potency has only intensified since the All-Star break. Shayna Rubin, The Mercury News, "Takeaways: Matt Chapman’s hot second half continues in A’s win over Mariners," 17 July 2019 The 2014 murder of 43 students in the Mexican state of Guerrero, however, underlined the genre’s potency as a way to protest the unthinkable in the social media era. Los Angeles Times, "In El Paso’s wake, a corrido honors the dead and points fingers at the villains," 10 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'potency.' 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 potency

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Statistics for potency

Last Updated

30 Aug 2019

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The first known use of potency was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for potency



English Language Learners Definition of potency

: the power to influence someone
: the strength or effectiveness of something
: the ability of a man to have sex


po·​ten·​cy | \ ˈpōt-ᵊn-sē How to pronounce potency (audio) \
plural potencies

Medical Definition of potency

: the quality or state of being potent: as
a : chemical or medicinal strength or efficacy a drug's potency
b : the ability to copulate usually used of the male
c : initial inherent capacity for development of a particular kind cells with a potency for eye formation

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More from Merriam-Webster on potency

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for potency

Spanish Central: Translation of potency

Nglish: Translation of potency for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of potency for Arabic Speakers

Comments on potency

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one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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