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 Ideas for future include CBD and hemp products, new marijuana strains and a high-potency chocolate peanut-butter candy bar infused with marijuana. Evan Petzold, Detroit Free Press, "Darren McCarty used to tamper with drug tests. Now his marijuana brand is on the market," 2 July 2020 For better or worse, the law reshaped Arizona politics and set an example to others about the political potency of nativism and border security. Taylor Seely, AZCentral.com, "Listen to the trailer for our new series, 'Rediscovering: SB 1070'," 1 July 2020 Add a cup of Epsom salt, a dash of cinnamon, rose petals, and charge a rose quartz crystal under the moon to absorb its potency. Elizabeth Gulino, refinery29.com, "Sunday’s “Ring Of Fire” Solar Eclipse Brings Positive Change," 19 June 2020 Homeopaths also believe that extreme dilutions of toxic substances increase their healing potency. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Homeopaths sell injections containing strychnine, lead, mercury. Seriously," 16 June 2020 It has been shown to preserve vaccine potency and pH stability. Alicia Wallace, CNN, "Finding a coronavirus vaccine is hard. Getting it to people is a whole other problem," 11 June 2020 The toughness from teams past remained but these Pacers had more offensive potency. J. Michael, Indianapolis Star, "20 years later, Pacers reflect on only NBA Finals trip: 'You always wonder what could’ve been.'," 5 June 2020 In a way, this potency is surprising considering that the Cold War ended some three decades ago. Andre Pagliarini, The New Republic, "Where America Developed a Taste for State Violence," 5 June 2020 Perhaps sensing the political potency of the issue, Trump included an independent commission to examine the nursing home response to the virus as part of his Opening Up America Again plan. David Hogberg, Washington Examiner, "Andrew Cuomo and Trump face political reckoning for nursing home deaths," 3 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for potency

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for potency

Last Updated

8 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Potency.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/potency. Accessed 8 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for potency


How to pronounce potency (audio)

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

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