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 Procaccianti is one of the largest and most powerful developers in the state, and another person who has an ownership interest, Paolino, is no stranger to politics himself. BostonGlobe.com, 30 July 2021 Trump is not only a former president of the United States but also the single most powerful figure in today's Republican Party. Chris Cillizza, CNN, 29 July 2021 The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month that China’s two most powerful tech companies, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Tencent Holdings Ltd. , were working on opening up their services to one another’s platforms. Stephanie Yang, WSJ, 27 July 2021 Yet, the police, the most powerful armed public servants, have no accountability to their licensing board and, therefore, to the public. Star Tribune, 26 July 2021 These include the development of NASA’s Space Launch System, the most powerful rocket ever built, a 365-foot vehicle housing 730,000 gallons of fuel and the fact that Alabama produces about 1.4 million vehicles a year. William Thornton | Wthornton@al.com, al, 26 July 2021 Shyamalan might have been the most powerful filmmaker in the world at this point … but not for much longer. Tim Grierson, Vulture, 26 July 2021 Days later, President Donald Trump ordered the airstrike that killed Iran's most powerful general Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' elite Quds Force. Conor Finnegan, ABC News, 26 July 2021 One of her most powerful champions was the conservative radio host James Dobson, who used her message to promote the idea that family harmony was based on male leadership. Eliza Griswold, The New Yorker, 25 July 2021

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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Time Traveler for powerful

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near powerful

power forward



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Last Updated

31 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Powerful.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/powerful. Accessed 3 Aug. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on powerful

Nglish: Translation of powerful for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of powerful for Arabic Speakers


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