1. Possessing inner or physical strength; powerful.
a. Exerting or capable of exerting strong physiological or chemical effects: potent liquor; a potent toxin.
b. Exerting or capable of exerting strong influence; cogent: potent arguments.
3. Having great control or authority: "The police were potent only so long as they were feared" (Thomas Burke).
4. Able to achieve and maintain an erection that allows for sexual intercourse. Used of a male.
[Middle English, from Latin potēns, potent-, present participle of posse, to be able; see poti- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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