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 social media account issued a correction, however, that also erased a female politician who sought one of the most powerful offices in the world. Mike Brest, Washington Examiner, "New York Times column panned for claiming Biden ticket will be first with a woman in decades," 8 Aug. 2020 Activists have called for protests in the central Martyrs’ Square from 5 p.m. after more than 150 were killed in Tuesday’s explosion, one so powerful it was felt as far away as Cyprus and blew apart apartments in swaths of the city. Loveday Morris, Washington Post, "Beirut braces for protests as grief over blast turns to fury: ‘Resign or hang’," 8 Aug. 2020 In China, WeChat is about as powerful as Twitter, WhatsApp, and Facebook are combined in the US. Rong Xiaoqing, Wired, "Trump's WeChat Ban May Alienate His Chinese Supporters," 8 Aug. 2020 The powerful chips in Apple’s iPhones are the product of this process, as are those in just about every smartphone in the world. The Economist, "Worth an arm and a leg Nvidia tries to get its hands on Arm," 8 Aug. 2020 This was just the latest instance in which actions of the FPC — among the oldest and most powerful civilian oversight boards in the country — have raised transparency concerns. Alison Dirr, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Concerns raised over open meetings compliance after Fire and Police Commission met behind closed doors for 20 minutes," 8 Aug. 2020 Spindler is a powerful, physical offensive lineman who projects to be a very good guard at the next level. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Rocco Spindler's commitment to Notre Dame hurts Michigan football; Wolverines can recover," 8 Aug. 2020 The company has plans to launch up to two dozen increasingly powerful satellites and possibly more, depending on customer demand. William Harwood, CBS News, "SpaceX caps busy week with launch of 57 more Starlink satellites," 7 Aug. 2020 The answer lies with the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, an obscure but powerful body that has taken on vast new influence under the Trump Administration. Jeff John Roberts, Fortune, "‘A strange power’: The secretive Presidential committee that could kneecap TikTok," 7 Aug. 2020

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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Statistics for powerful

Last Updated

11 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Powerful.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/powerful. Accessed 15 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for powerful


How to pronounce powerful (audio)

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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