Definition of powerful in US English:

powerful

adjective

  • 1Having great power or strength.

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

adverb

dialect
  • as submodifier Very.

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

Pronunciation

powerful

/ˈpou(ə)rfəl//ˈpaʊ(ə)rfəl/