One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Having great power, influence, or effect.‘thrones were potent symbols of authority’‘a potent drug’‘a potent argument’
powerful, strong, vigorous, mighty, formidable, influential, commanding, dominant, forceful, dynamic, redoubtable, overpowering, overwhelmingforceful, convincing, cogent, compelling, persuasive, powerful, strong, effective, effectual, eloquent, impressive, telling, sound, well founded, valid, weighty, authoritative, irresistiblestrong, powerful, effective, efficaciousView synonyms
- ‘The curse remains such a potent influence on the lives of New Englanders that they will go to extraordinary lengths to try to lift it.’
- ‘That power is particularly potent when you consider that most of these unions each have well over half a million members and represent a critical segment of America's voter base.’
- ‘President Theodore Roosevelt, who in a fit of pique coined the term ‘muckraking’, called him a potent influence for evil.’
- ‘At the time, a new generation of drugs was raising hopes that the potent neurological side effects of older medications could be avoided.’
- ‘His rolled-up-sleeves, straight talking approach and feisty willingness to speak truth to power is a very potent television image, if handled properly.’
- ‘Recognizing that, there is certainly sympathy to be had for those who have fallen prey to the drug's potent effects.’
- ‘And Errol Flynn in some pirate movie had a very, very potent effect on my 5-year-old imagination, and later fantasy life.’
- ‘Within the media, newspapers remain the most influential and potent sector, the cutting edge, which also happens to be the most accessible to the public.’
- ‘The fashion business has also recaptured the potent power of the cigarette as a sexual appendage.’
- ‘But outspoken patients can be a potent force, heavily influencing whether a drug or medical device stays or is pulled from the market.’
- ‘Their whole story (all forty years of it) is one massive, powerful, incredibly potent message against taking drugs.’
- ‘These powers can be potent when applied to markets.’
- ‘The remedy has a particularly potent curative effect on chronic bronchitis, coughs, and asthma due to excessive phlegm.’
- ‘Moreover, what makes this putative power even more potent is that it is believed to be clandestine and cliquish.’
- ‘Even a small dose of alcohol can have a potent effect on a person who is tired.’
- ‘The desire to do good, to champion the cause of love can become so potent a power in itself that it obliterates the ends.’
- ‘There is no more potent symbol of state power than the death penalty.’
- ‘Moreover, although the unions are unhappy and still potent, their power is less than his Labour predecessors endured 20 and 30 years ago.’
- ‘They can be easily slipped into your drink - if it is an alcoholic drink, the effect is more potent.’
- ‘Instead they can have very real and potent social and political effects.’
2(of a male) able to achieve an erection or to reach an orgasm.
- ‘A white boy dancer must deliver an impotent, but ironic, rendering of White's (love unlimited) orchestration of potent sexuality.’
- ‘Now our newly potent man starts flaunting his favour and throws his weight around.’
- ‘The answer lies in the widespread assumption that ‘awakening’ a young lass is the mark of a potent man.’
- ‘An aura of potent sexuality seemed to radiate from him.’
- ‘In the world of shunga, the women are always wet, the men perpetually potent.’
Late Middle English: from Latin potent- ‘being powerful, being able’, from the verb posse.
1Formed of crutch-shaped pieces; (especially of a cross) having a straight bar across the end of each extremity.‘a cross potent’
- ‘Up to now they had the ‘Or, four pallets Gules, on a bordure Azure crosslets potent Argent’.’
- ‘The Jerusalem Cross consists of a big cross potent and four smaller ones.’
2Of the fur called potent (as a tincture).
- ‘Potent gules and Or, a triskelion reversed of three armoured legs argent.’
Fur resembling vair, but with the alternating pieces T-shaped.
- ‘Potent is believed to have been originally derived from vair.’
Late Middle English (denoting a crutch): alteration of Old French potence ‘crutch’, from Latin potentia ‘power’ (in medieval Latin ‘crutch’), from potent- (see potent).
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