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

Accepting the Lifetime Leadership Award, Hill delivered a powerful speech and call to action. Lauren Alexis Fisher, Harper's BAZAAR, "Anita Hill Delivers a Powerful Call to Action at the 2019 DVF Awards," 12 Apr. 2019 After trying increasingly powerful medications, her typically straight-laced parents finally countenanced the idea of giving their child marijuana. Amber Senter, Marie Claire, "We Have to Acknowledge That CBD Use Is a Privilege," 11 Apr. 2019 Their latest release is a powerful ballad that comments on female empowerment. Megan Stein, Country Living, "Little Big Town Caused Controversy With Their Polarizing ACMs Performance," 8 Apr. 2019 And finally, there's the powerful Retinol Complex ($68), which boasts a hgh-potency formula of .3 percent retinol, to smooth fine lines over time. Alexis Rhiannon, Allure, "Amazon Just Launched WorksBeauty, a New Skin-Care Line That Literally Guarantees Fast Results," 2 Apr. 2019 The powerful advice from her father sparked something else besides joy for her—gratitude. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "Marie Kondo Reveals How Fame Changed Her—and the Advice That Opened Her Eyes," 14 Mar. 2019 The default software suite for elementary OS does a good job of balancing simplicity and ease-of-use against powerful features. Scott Gilbertson, Ars Technica, "A tour of elementary OS, perhaps the Linux world’s best hope for the mainstream," 28 Dec. 2018 Kandahar deputy provincial governor Agha Lala Dastageri said powerful provincial police chief Abdul Razik -- a longtime and key U.S. ally -- and provincial intelligence chief Abdul Mohmin were killed immediately. Fox News, "2 Americans wounded, top general escapes harm in deadly shooting at governor's mansion in Afghanistan," 18 Oct. 2018 We were blessed to work with a lot of powerful, amazing females this season. Monique Valeris, ELLE Decor, "Designer Bobby Berk Dishes on Queer Eye's New Season," 15 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

23 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

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

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


to affect and impair by alcohol or a drug

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