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

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
Crime has already emerged as a potent weapon for a G.O.P. eager to win back the suburbs and chip away at Democratic gains among urban professionals. Michael C. Bender, New York Times, 1 Mar. 2023 The classic deadlift, without wraps, is a potent weapon in building massive forearms. Men's Health, 8 Feb. 2023 This advanced formula contains a potent blend of ingredients such as L-Carnitine, Green Tea Leaf Extract, and Caffeine that work together to boost metabolism, suppress appetite, and increase energy levels for maximum fat burning. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 6 Feb. 2023 Turning gas into plasma creates an intense electrical current for powering potent hypersonic weapons. Tim Newcomb, Popular Mechanics, 6 Feb. 2023 The smile, his most potent PR weapon, and the possibility of 40 home runs has a funny way of easing any edginess. Bryce Millercolumnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, 4 Feb. 2023 Its potent blend of peptides and botanicals supports skin elastin and collagen for skin firmness and function. Lacey Muinos, Health, 23 Jan. 2023 Testogen is designed to help men boost testosterone levels naturally using a potent blend of ingredients that are backed by clinical studies. Dallas News, 12 Jan. 2023 All Think of these patches like a green smoothie for bloated, puffy under-eyes, but instead of spinach, berries and protein, this relies on a potent blend of cucumber extract, aloe, caffeine, and allantoin. Anneke Knot, Peoplemag, 6 Jan. 2023 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'potent.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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 21 Mar. 2023.

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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