pow·er·ful | \ ˈpau̇(-ə)r-fəl \

Definition of powerful 

1 : having great power, prestige, or influence a powerful leader

2 : leading to many or important deductions a powerful set of postulates

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Other words from powerful

powerfully \ˈpau̇(-ə)r-f(ə-)lē \ adverb

Examples of powerful in a Sentence

The country is becoming more and more powerful. powerful drugs that attack cancer cells The cash bonus provides a powerful incentive to workers. The perfume has a powerful smell. It's a very powerful movie. The dog has a powerful body. She has a powerful voice. The weapons are very powerful. The aardvark uses its powerful claws to dig for food.
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Recent Examples on the Web

In mice with implanted cancer cells, two weeks of daily reward circuit stimulation produced a powerful response—their tumors were 40 to 50 percent smaller than those in control mice that didn’t get the brain activation. Esther Landhuis, Scientific American, "Could Brain Stimulation Slow Cancer?," 13 July 2018 The powerful auto company will be moving up to 5,000 workers to the neighborhood in the coming years. Allie Gross, Detroit Free Press, "1993 Corktown purchase sits on the edge of a jackpot," 13 July 2018 Ubogagu sent a perfect cross to the back post for Leroux, who was able to get a powerful header on frame only to be denied by Dash goalkeeper Jane Campbell. Jordan Culver, Pro Soccer USA, "Orlando Pride falls 3-1 to host Houston Dash," 12 July 2018 The poisons are thought to be eight to 10 times as powerful as VX or sarin gas. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Second Novichok poisoning in Britain raises alarm, questions over contamination," 5 July 2018 Nobody makes black figures as powerful as Charles White's. Deanna Isaacs, Chicago Reader, "Charles White finally gets his due with a retrospective at the Art Institute," 3 July 2018 Republicans and some anti-labor groups view public sector unions as too powerful in the state. Adam Ashton, sacbee, "Now they have a choice. Will California teachers and cops stay in their unions?," 1 July 2018 The powerful technology can be used to identify people in photos or video feeds without their knowledge or permission. New York Times, "Microsoft Urges Congress to Regulate Use of Facial Recognition," 13 July 2018 The powerful technology can be used to identify people in photos or video feeds without their knowledge or permission. New York Times, BostonGlobe.com, "Microsoft urges Congress to regulate facial recognition," 13 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'powerful.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of powerful

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for powerful

Last Updated

19 Sep 2018

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The first known use of powerful was in the 15th century

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English Language Learners Definition of powerful

: having the ability to control or influence people or things

: having a strong effect on someone or something

: having or producing a lot of physical strength or force


pow·er·ful | \ ˈpau̇-ər-fəl \

Kids Definition of powerful

: full of or having power, strength, or influence powerful magnets a powerful speech

Other words from powerful

powerfully \-fə-lē \ adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on powerful

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for powerful

Spanish Central: Translation of powerful

Nglish: Translation of powerful for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of powerful for Arabic Speakers

Comments on powerful

What made you want to look up powerful? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a magnificent or impressive array

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