Definition of potestas
: the legal authority of a Roman citizen over his descendants and others in his household — compare patria potestas
Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:
- More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
- Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
- Advanced search features
- Ad free!
Origin and Etymology of potestas
Latin potestat-, potestas power, irregular from potis able, capable + -tat-, -tas -ty
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up potestas? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).