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

When patients get the pills outside the medical system, those pills may not have been through the FDA’s system for regulating the potency and content of medication, Perritt said. Anna North, Vox, "A boom in at-home abortions is coming," 9 July 2019 The agency also regulates the potency of commercial products. Stepfanie Romine, USA TODAY, "Before you buy cannabis, brush up on California laws and safety precautions," 8 July 2019 The surprising success of Ron Paul, a Texas Republican Congressman and ardent gold bug, in the 2008 and 2012 elections showed the potency of these ideas among the electorate. Gwynn Guilford, Quartz, "The quiet campaign to reinstate the gold standard is getting louder," 3 July 2019 The Broward Sheriff’s Office crime lab is testing a sample to determine the potency of the prescription pills. Wayne K. Roustan, sun-sentinel.com, "Drug stash worth $2 million found in rented SUV parked at hospital," 17 June 2019 The plants are well shaped, and the colors are intense, but the main appeal is the potency of the nectar. Calvin Finch, ExpressNews.com, "More great plants for color in your San Antonio summer garden," 14 June 2019 What Black and Otten said has changed, however, is the potency of the drugs the dogs are consuming. Kaiser Health News, oregonlive.com, "Ruh-roh: What happens when your dog gets into your weed stash," 23 June 2019 Veterans’ frequency of use, as well as their preference for smoking high-potency kinds of cannabis are areas of potential concern, according to the study’s authors. Nick Ibarra, The Mercury News, "Study finds California veterans use cannabis to replace other drugs," 18 June 2019 These high-potency CBD sheet masks, custom-designed by cult-favorite tattoo artist-graphic designer Scott Campbell for his Beboe cannabis brand, infuse moisturizers and other natural components to help smooth and calm skin. Kevin Smothers, latimes.com, "Father’s Day shopping: Give the gift of grooming with these fresh products," 6 June 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

19 Jul 2019

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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 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

What made you want to look up potency? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


something desired as essential

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