potentate was our Word of the Day on 03/24/2008. Hear the podcast!
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Examples of potentate in a Sentence
Charles inherited the position of potentate of the Holy Roman Empire from his grandfather, as well that of king of Spain from his father.
Recent Examples of potentate from the Web
Trump received a potentate’s welcome in Saudi Arabia, with his image burnished everywhere.
But as a certain political potentate has learned, saying and doing everything that comes to mind has more drawbacks than pluses in the long run.
Governors, who like presidents serve one six-year term, control state legislatures, state auditors and state prosecutors — a dominance that gives them the power of a modern potentate.
The new potentates in Washington may feel that the dream is within reach.
Arrows of desire: Jerusalem has been aiming them at the hearts of pilgrims, tourists and potentates for thousands of years.
Foreign potentates and diplomats beware: the United States wants your DNA.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'potentate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
Potentate has been wielding its power in English since the 15th century. It comes from the Late Latin potentatus, which in turn was formed from the Latin potent-, meaning "powerful." Other descendants of potent- in English include potent itself, impotent, and omnipotent, as well as the archaic armipotent and very rare bellipotent (meaning, respectively, "mighty in battle" and "mighty in war"). Even power and powerful can be traced back to potent-.
First Known Use of potentate
Synonymsautocrat, monarch, ruler, sovereign (also sovran)
Related Wordscoruler; Caesar, czar (also tsar or tzar), emir (or amir also ameer), emperor, empress, kaiser, khan, khedive, king, lord, mikado, mogul, prince, queen, satrap, shah, sultan, suzerain; authoritarian, Big Brother, despot, dictator, führer (or fuehrer), monocrat, overlord, paramount, tyrant
POTENTATE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of potentate for English Language Learners
: a powerful ruler
Seen and Heard
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