po·​ten·​cy | \ˈpō-tᵊn(t)-sē \
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

The draft rules also call for setting aggressive targets for reducing youth cannabis use, creating national standards for potency testing and packaging and setting tax rates low enough to undercut the black market. Trevor Hughes, USA TODAY, "Canada poised to approve legal marijuana sales; pot shops could be open by late summer," 6 June 2018 Of those, about 65 percent of failures were down to labeling and potency issues. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Calif. safety tests pass moldy marijuana but fail ~20% of products overall," 11 Sep. 2018 Power Moves: With your zones of potency and majesty ignited by this week’s transits, this is a critical moment for releasing your need to defend your turf, firestarter. Bess Matassa, Teen Vogue, "Weekly Horoscopes Aug 13-19," 11 Aug. 2018 Since 2011, Switzerland has allowed the sale of low potency cannabis, with minimal concentrations of the chemical that makes people high. Fox News, "Switzerland weighs relaxing marijuana ban," 4 July 2018 What this shows, apart from the fact that Giroud is officially a better player than last year's Ballon d'Or winner, is the 31 year old's consistent potency in front of goal - clearly especially in the air. SI.com, "Why Olivier Giroud Can Be More Than Just a Stopgap at Chelsea," 9 May 2018 The movement had, and continues to have, real potency. Eliana Dockterman, Time, "Harvey Weinstein's Arrest Is Just the Opening Scene," 31 May 2018 Salah provided nearly all of Egypt's attacking potency, netting 71% of its goals in qualifying. SI.com, "Egypt Hopeful of Having Salah to Navigate Manageable World Cup Group," 30 May 2018 However, the potency of the migration debate continues to grow in Italian politics. Giovanni Legorano, WSJ, "Italy’s Salvini Puts Roadblocks in Migrants’ Way While Reaching Out to Fellow European Populists," 27 June 2018

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

6 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for potency

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 \
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

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