from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Possessing inner or physical strength; powerful.
  • adjective Exerting or capable of exerting strong physiological or chemical effects.
  • adjective Exerting or capable of exerting strong influence; cogent.
  • adjective Having great control or authority.
  • adjective Able to achieve and maintain an erection that allows for sexual intercourse. Used of a male.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Powerful; possessed of inherent strength.
  • Powerful in a moral sense; having great influence; cogent; prevailing; convincing: as, potent arguments; potent interest.
  • Having great authority, control, or dominion.
  • In heraldry, divided or included by a line or lines forming a series of potents: as, a fesse potent. [In this sense originally potenté.]
  • noun A prince; a potentate.
  • noun A crutch; a walking-staff.
  • noun In heraldry: A figure resembling the head of a crutch, and consisting of a parallelogram laid horizontally on the top of a small square.
  • noun A fur made up of patches or figures.
  • noun In watch-making, a journal plate or bearing.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun obsolete A prince; a potentate.
  • noun obsolete A staff or crutch.
  • noun (Her.) One of the furs; a surface composed of patches which are supposed to represent crutch heads; they are always alternately argent and azure, unless otherwise specially mentioned.
  • noun (Her.) a fur differing from potent in the arrangement of the patches.
  • adjective Producing great physical effects; forcible; powerful' efficacious.
  • adjective Having great authority, control, or dominion; puissant; mighty; influential.
  • adjective Powerful, in an intellectual or moral sense; having great influence
  • adjective (Her.) See Illust. (7) of Cross.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Possessing strength
  • adjective Being effective in small quantities.
  • adjective Having a sharp or offensive taste.
  • adjective of a male able to procreate.
  • adjective very powerful or effective.
  • noun heraldry A heraldic fur formed by a regular tessellation of blue and white T shapes.

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

  • adjective having or wielding force or authority
  • adjective (of a male) capable of copulation
  • adjective having great influence
  • adjective having a strong physiological or chemical effect


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

[Middle English, from Latin potēns, potent-, present participle of posse, to be able; see poti- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin potens ("powerful, strong, potent"), present participle of posse ("to be able"), from potis ("able, powerful, originally a lord, master").


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  • “White Disaster,” some called the potent dwarven drink.

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  • These results on depancreatized dogs showed beyond doubt that the antidiabetic hormone was present in potent form in the extracts, and the time seemed ripe to investigate their action on the clinical forms of diabetes.

    John Macleod - Nobel Lecture 1965

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  • Using neuroscience and the most advanced brain-scanning technique available today—the fMRI—global research institute Millward Brown studied the brains of twenty men and women in the UK to find out whether the “Royal Mail experiment” had created true emotional engagement, that is to say, a potent emotional response, in consumers.

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