Etymology
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perversion (n.)

late 14c., "action of turning aside from truth; corruption, distortion" (originally of religious beliefs), from Latin perversionem (nominative perversio) "a turning about," noun of action from past-participle stem of pervertere (see pervert (v.)). Psychological sense of "disorder of sexual behavior in which satisfaction is sought through channels other than those of normal heterosexual intercourse" is from 1892, originally including homosexuality.

Perversions are defined as unnatural acts, acts contrary to nature, bestial, abominable, and detestable. Such laws are interpretable only in accordance with the ancient tradition of the English common law which ... is committed to the doctrine that no sexual activity is justifiable unless its objective is procreation. [A.C. Kinsey, et.al., "Sexual Behavior in the Human Male," 1948]
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powerful (adj.)

c. 1400, pouerful, "mighty, having great strength or power," from power (n.) + -ful. Sense of "capable of exerting great force or power" is from 1580s.

Meaning "of great quality or number" is from 1811; hence the colloquial sense of "exceedingly, extremely" (adv.) is from 1822. Thornton ("American Glossary") notes powerful, along with monstrous,  as "Much used by common people in the sense of very," and cites curious expressions such as devilish good, monstrous pretty (1799), dreadful polite, cruel pretty, abominable fine (1803), "or when a young lady admires a lap dog for being so vastly small and declares him prodigious handsome" (1799).

This gross perversion is common in several of the Western counties of Pennsylvania, to which region I had supposed it was limited. A gentleman informs me, however that it is not unfrequent in the South, and that he has even heard it yoked with weak, as, A powerful weak man. [Seth T. Hurd, "A Grammatical Corrector; or, Vocabulary of the Common Errors of Speech," 1847]

Related: Powerfully; powerfulness.

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