potentate was our Word of the Day on 03/24/2008. Hear the podcast!
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.
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
POTENTATE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of potentate for English Language Learners
: a powerful ruler
Seen and Heard
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