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

Examples of potency in a Sentence

The potency of her words changed many minds in the audience that night. Any vitamin of high potency should only be taken in the proper dosage.
Recent Examples on the Web Few can resist the emotional potency of a good narrative, not even the Supreme Court. Matt Ford, The New Republic, 14 July 2022 That potency, combined with its sweet smoothness, is key to the Hand Grenade’s appeal. Nathaniel Adams, Chron, 2 June 2022 The higher the potency, the more CBD your cat will receive per dose. The Salt Lake Tribune, 22 Apr. 2022 The lab report also will have information on the potency, which is measured by chemical compounds called cannabinoids. Ryan Randazzo, AZCentral.com, 18 Apr. 2022 But both lost potency fairly quickly and needed to be applied to the weapon right before an attack. Shelley Puhak, Smithsonian Magazine, 6 Jan. 2022 All the others were at the mercy of factors not entirely within their control: a club’s financial potency, the quality of player on the books, the strength of their opponents. New York Times, 26 Nov. 2021 Fentanyl is being mixed in with other illicit drugs to increase the potency of the drug, sold as powders and nasal sprays, and increasingly pressed into pills made to look like legitimate prescription opioids. Zachary B. Wolf, CNN, 17 Nov. 2021 While users can reap plenty of benefits from the ingredients' potency, redness, irritation, and peeling are common side effects for those with sensitive skin, leading many to skip using retinol in their regimen altogether. Maya Gandara, Travel + Leisure, 30 Sep. 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of potency

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

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Last Updated

2 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Potency.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/potency. Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for potency


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

More from Merriam-Webster on potency

Nglish: Translation of potency for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of potency for Arabic Speakers


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