Definition of powerful in US English:

powerful

adjective

  • 1Having great power or strength.

    ‘a fast, powerful car’
    ‘computers are now more compact and powerful’
    • ‘The hope of water was such a powerful motivator, it kept me going.’
    • ‘And the animals are powerful enough to kill with a single blow.’
    • ‘Women may live longer than men because they have a more powerful immune system, it was reported yesterday.’
    • ‘We all have a craving in life, be it a powerful yearning or a strong zest for something we seek.’
    • ‘I felt oddly powerful, and threw myself into my stretches with impressive enthusiasm.’
    • ‘They were very powerful, very illegal weapons.’
    • ‘Scientific and technical progress of the latter half of the twentieth century made them extremely powerful.’
    • ‘The incidence also explains the powerful placebo effect of some treatments.’
    • ‘The radiation would be at least 50 times above normal, powerful enough to kill exposed life.’
    • ‘Tip #4: Food is a powerful motivator when it comes to dog training.’
    • ‘She had nearly reached the door when a strong, incredibly powerful hand caught hold of her arm.’
    • ‘I wanted to be where I used to be and have that powerful, strong sense of direction.’
    • ‘The law is an incredibly powerful tool for shaping social perceptions, as well as controlling behavior.’
    • ‘She sounds invulnerable, not because she's powerful but because she's so darned nice.’
    • ‘Studies are accumulating that the pizza herb, oregano, is a powerful antioxidant.’
    • ‘He's big and powerful and a strong boy: the last thing you want is to be in his way when he is running at you.’
    • ‘Both have strong, powerful teams who can also play a bit, and both have great managers.’
    • ‘But Alistair Brown lunged to his right to turn the powerful header round the post.’
    • ‘However they are very powerful tools for company identification in the mind of users.’
    • ‘He went after powerful mages himself, and my father was one of them.’
    strong, muscular, muscly, sturdy, strapping, robust, mighty, hefty, brawny, burly, husky, athletic, manly, well built, herculean, tough, solid, substantial, lusty
    violent, forceful, heavy, hard, mighty, vigorous, hefty, thunderous
    intoxicating, heady, hard, strong, stiff
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    1. 1.1 (of a person, organization, or country) having control and influence over people and events.
      ‘the world's most powerful nation’
      • ‘Labour MPs and the powerful anti-hunt lobby are not really concerned about the fox.’
      • ‘At long last, someone had beaten the powerful development lobby at City Hall.’
      • ‘Reed ensured he was in a powerful position to influence how much scrutiny the council applied to the Forum.’
      • ‘Its successes have been very inconvenient to the powerful and privileged.’
      • ‘Or else the world influences in those times were very powerful, and they were.’
      • ‘He believes that the powerful are powerful because they control the surface of things.’
      • ‘Despite notching up just one small and one big hit, he has exerted a powerful influence on Scottish pop.’
      • ‘A quarter of a century on, the clergyman remains a powerful and influential figure even in death.’
      • ‘Newspapers and magazines were equally powerful cultural influences on public opinion.’
      • ‘It has made it far harder for determined and powerful figures to control how people see events and that can only be a good thing.’
      • ‘There is, Richard says, a subtler but no less powerful influence at work too.’
      • ‘Westin was now quite convinced that his country was the most powerful in the world.’
      • ‘What would he recommend for them if they weren't currently the most powerful nation?’
      • ‘She then went to work for one of the most powerful, influential billionaires on the planet.’
      • ‘We need a powerful English Parliament with equal funding to that of other UK regional ones.’
      • ‘Second, there is a bipolar structure of control, with the system controlled by two powerful states.’
      • ‘Hmm, maybe so, but the fact remains that the Scots and Irish influence is a powerful and pervasive one.’
      • ‘It has fed and sheltered me, and is powerful enough to influence the direction of my art.’
      • ‘So a handful of votes will determine the direction of the world's most powerful and influential country.’
      • ‘And the men controlling the most powerful countries in the world ought to be ashamed.’
      influential, strong, high-powered, important, controlling, dominant, commanding, potent, forceful, vigorous, dynamic, formidable, redoubtable
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    2. 1.2 Having a strong effect on people's feelings or thoughts.
      ‘his photomontages are powerful antiwar images’
      • ‘It was extremely theatrical, which made the effects more dramatic and powerful.’
      • ‘Thirdly, the powerful effect of these stories relates to the way people estimate probabilities.’
      • ‘Yet the result is mesmeric: it shows how little you actually need to make powerful dramatic radio.’
      • ‘But words can be an incredibly powerful tool.’
      • ‘But in the literary sphere it can generate quite powerful effects and exert a strong appeal.’
      • ‘They will provide powerful insights into the effects of different herbicide usage.’
      • ‘Her voice is calming and almost hypnotic at times, and really strong and powerful at others.’
      • ‘When this is done well - and it hardly ever is - it can be immensely powerful.’
      • ‘His speech when launching his campaign for the Tory leadership was a powerful anti-war polemic.’
      • ‘Bold use of line and strong colour create powerful images that also provide an insight into the minds of the artists.’
      • ‘Yet, it is the simplicity of these principles that makes them so powerful.’
      • ‘His lyrics are powerful and emotive and come wrapped in lovely melodies.’
      • ‘It's sometimes I think the best analogy for a koan is a painting that has a powerful effect on you.’
      • ‘How many other tv shows around today have such a powerful and predominately female cast?’
      • ‘She played solo with an acoustic guitar, her voice was powerful and clear and she knew how to use it.’
      • ‘As a man of strong intellectual powers, many of his most powerful effects were carefully thought through.’
      • ‘The work showed a director able to blend live action and special effects in powerful packages.’
      cogent, compelling, convincing, persuasive, eloquent, impressive, striking, telling, influential
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adverb

dialect
  • as submodifier Very.

    ‘walking in this weather is powerful hot work’
    very, extremely, exceedingly, exceptionally, especially, tremendously, immensely, vastly, hugely
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Pronunciation

powerful

/ˈpou(ə)rfəl//ˈpaʊ(ə)rfəl/