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plenipotentiary

Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Invested with or conferring full powers: a plenipotentiary deputy.
  • n. A diplomatic agent, such as an ambassador, fully authorized to represent his or her government.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A person invested with full power, especially as the diplomatic agent of a sovereign state, (originally) charged with handling a certain matter
  • adj. Invested with full power.
  • adj. Of or relating to a plenipotentiary agent

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Containing or conferring full power; invested with full power
  • n. A person invested with full power to transact any business; especially, an ambassador or envoy to a foreign court, with full power to negotiate a treaty, or to transact other business.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Invested with, having, or bestowing full power: as, plenipotentiary authority; ministers plenipotentiary.
  • n. (-riz.). A person invested with full power to transact any business; specifically, an ambassador or envoy to a foreign court, furnished with full powers to negotiate a treaty or to transact other business.
  • n. Synonyms See ambassador, 1.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a diplomat who is fully authorized to represent his or her government

Etymologies

Medieval Latin plēnipotentiārius, from Late Latin plēnipotēns, plēnipotent-, invested with full power : Latin plēnus, full; see pelə-1 in Indo-European roots + Latin potēns, powerful; see potent.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
First attested in 1645. From medieval Latin plenipotentiarius, from plenipotentia 'full powers', from plenipotens, from plēnus ("full") + potentia ("power"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The word plenipotentiary is not the right word to describe Dawkins comment that extraterrestrials are a better explanation of the universe than God.

    On Thursday, the Legg report will be published along with...

  • It certainly does mean minister, but only a Minister of State, which a minister plenipotentiary is not.

    Glimpses of Life and Manners in Persia

  • Not that it would upset Alex-my husband, that is, the plenipotentiary-to be hailed as the rightful King when he returns.

    Hokas Pokas

  • Probably the biggest single change was the introduction of the telegraph in the middle of the 19th century, which meant that ambassadors were no longer truly "plenipotentiary", as they are still formally described, since they were within range of instructions and no longer had the necessity or the authority to stand in place of their sovereigns.

    The job of an ambassador

  • From the foregoing correspondence it will be seen that one of Booker Washington's many rôles was to act as a kind of plenipotentiary and interpreter between his people and the dominant race.

    Booker T. Washington Builder of A Civilization

  • Washington's many rôles was to act as a kind of plenipotentiary and interpreter between his people and the dominant race.

    Booker T. Washington Builder of a Civilization

  • They then appointed Alexander as general plenipotentiary in command of the renewed Panhellenic expedition against Persia.

    Alexander the Great

  • In witness whereof we the undersigned, their ministers plenipotentiary, have in their name and in virtue of our full powers, signed with our hands the present definitive treaty and caused the seals of our arms to be affixed thereto.

    Your History Moment: The Treaty of Paris « Third Point of Singularity

  • The euro, in this context, was less a leap into the unknown than an attempt to return to an older discipline, one in which governments would not rely on plenipotentiary central banks to bail them out of their policy errors.

    Europe and Its Money

  • Since senators are elected by the state at-large, it logically follows that each and every senators is the plenipotentiary representation of his or her state.

    Matthew Yglesias » 37 Percent

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Comments

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  • "The unfolding of something abstract runs alongside an idea of music as plenipotentiary for emotion" - from the sleeve notes to the album Towards The Blessed Islands by cellist Oliver Coates.

    December 27, 2013