pow·​er·​ful | \ ˈpau̇(-ə)r-fəl How to pronounce powerful (audio) \

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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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

The images were so powerful, and that was probably my first introduction to Bob Fosse. Adam Rathe, Town & Country, "Fosse/Verdon Super Fan Lisa Rinna on the Enduring Appeal of Bob Fosse," 8 May 2019 The upcoming movie will find Jean at a crossroad when a cosmic force transforms her into one of the most powerful mutants the world of X-Men has ever seen. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Who is Sophie Turner, Joe Jonas' New Wife?," 2 May 2019 Scary, aggressive, powerful, weak, pretty, ugly, boring, sad, happy, etc. Dodie Kazanjian, Vogue, "The Scary, Pretty Flower Paintings of Shara Hughes," 30 Apr. 2019 Queen Bey's powerful, high-energy anthem is everything, from a crowd favorite to a straight-up battle cry. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Women Write the Most Empowering Music—and These 33 Songs Prove It," 8 Mar. 2019 Highs: Fun to drive, optional turbo engine is efficient and powerful, standard safety features. Kirk Seaman, Car and Driver, "2019 Editors' Choice Awards: The Best Sedans, Hatchbacks, Coupes, and Convertibles," 30 Jan. 2019 In previous stories, a lot of the people being accused were very powerful, prominent men. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Recode has published 240 podcasts in 2018. Here are the 10 you really shouldn’t miss.," 6 Dec. 2018 Globe subluxation can be triggered by trauma, eyelid manipulation, or, in theory, something like forcing yourself to keep your eyes open during an extremely powerful sneeze, Dr. Steele says. Korin Miller, SELF, "Can You Sneeze With Your Eyes Open?," 22 Mar. 2019 The dynamic load sensor is used in Auto Mode but there is also a Boost Mode, equipped with the most powerful suction, and Eco Mode, which has the longest run time. Sarah Bogdan, Good Housekeeping, "Dyson’s New V11 Torque Drive Stick Vacuum Has Features That Will Blow You Away," 20 Mar. 2019

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

16 May 2019

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Time Traveler for powerful

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

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More Definitions for powerful



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 How to pronounce powerful (audio) \

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

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something valued as if it were money

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