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
Until the late 19th century, popes chose the bishops of central Italy, but almost all other bishops around the world were picked by secular potentates or elected by local clergy.
At 56, Mr Aliyev is the youngest of the Eurasian potentates.
As potentate, the highest elected position within the Tripoli Shrine, Michael Geiger had nearly sovereign power, his attorney told a jury.
One narrative of the modern Middle East is of potentates trying to stamp their imprint across these often volatile states.
Here, the people are not eccentric collectors or sadistic potentates, but twin brothers, farmers and sons of a farmer, who, through first the Great War and then the next, never leave home for any significant period of time.
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.
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-.
POTENTATE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of potentate for English Language Learners
: a powerful ruler
Seen and Heard
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