potent

1 of 2

adjective (1)

po·​tent ˈpō-tᵊnt How to pronounce potent (audio)
1
: having or wielding force, authority, or influence : powerful
2
: achieving or bringing about a particular result : effective
3
a
: chemically or medicinally effective
a potent vaccine
b
: rich in a characteristic constituent
a potent drink
4
: able to copulate
usually used of the male
potently adverb

potent

2 of 2

adjective (2)

of a heraldic cross
: having flat bars across the ends of the arms see cross illustration

Examples of potent in a Sentence

Adjective (1) a potent tea that is the perfect morning pick-me-up a potent argument for expanding our program of space exploration potent medicine that can be obtained through a doctor's prescription
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
In the theater of the courtroom — especially a trial where the prosecution’s star witnesses have been three of Hunter Biden’s former lovers — Melissa’s role is singular and potent with the only audience that matters now: the jury. Matt Hamilton, Los Angeles Times, 10 June 2024 The purpose of expiration dates is to ensure the medication is fully potent and safe to use. Anthea Levi, Health, 9 June 2024 Alternately, the fentanyl may have been too potent for the amount of naloxone on board and failed to revive Murphy at all. C.j. Chivers James Patrick Cronin Elena Hecht Anna Diamond Quinton Kamara, New York Times, 6 June 2024 Biologics are potent and quite expensive, which is why healthcare providers generally don't prescribe them right away. Lana Barhum, Verywell Health, 5 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for potent 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'potent.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Adjective (1)

Middle English, from Latin potent-, potens (present participle of posse to be able), from Latin potis, pote able; akin to Goth brūthfaths bridegroom, Greek posis husband, Sanskrit pati master

Adjective (2)

obsolete English potent crutch

First Known Use

Adjective (1)

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective (2)

circa 1586, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of potent was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near potent

Cite this Entry

“Potent.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/potent. Accessed 20 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

potent

adjective
po·​tent
ˈpōt-ᵊnt
1
: having or wielding force, authority, or influence : powerful
potent arguments for a strong defense
2
a
: very effective
potent medicine
b
: rich in a particular quality : strong
potent tea
potently adverb

Medical Definition

potent

adjective
po·​tent ˈpōt-ᵊnt How to pronounce potent (audio)
1
: having force or power
2
: chemically or medicinally effective
a potent vaccine
3
: able to copulate
usually used of the male
potently adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on potent

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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