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-.
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.
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.