Words related to potent


Proto-Indo-European root meaning "powerful; lord." 

It forms all or part of: bashaw; compos mentis; despot; hospodar; host (n.1) "person who receives guests;" idempotent; impotent; omnipotent; pasha; plenipotentiary; posse; possess; possible; potence; potency; potent; potentate; potential; potentiate; potentiometer; power; totipotent

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit patih "master, husband;" Greek posis, Lithuanian patis "husband;" Latin potis "powerful, able, capable; possible." 

idempotent (n.)
in algebra, quantity which multiplied by itself gives itself, 1870, from Latin idem "the same, identical with" (see idem) + potentem "powerful" (see potent).
impotent (adj.)
late 14c., "physically weak, enfeebled, crippled," from Old French impotent "powerless, weak, incapable of doing," from Latin imponentem (nominative impotens) "lacking control, powerless, feeble; lacking self-control," from assimilated form of in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + ponentem (nominative potens) "potent" (see potent).

Meaning "having no power to accomplish anything" is from mid-15c.; that of "completely lacking in sexual power" (of males) is from mid-15c. Middle English also had a native term for this: Cunt-beaten (mid-15c.). The figurative sense in Latin was "without self-control, headstrong, violent, ungovernable, lacking self-restraint," which sometimes is found in English (OED cites examples from Spenser, Massinger, Dryden, and Pope). Related: Impotently.
omnipotence (n.)

mid-15c., omnipotens, "unlimited divine power," from Old French omnipotence, from Late Latin omnipotentia "almighty power," from Latin omnipotentem (nominative omnipotens) "all-powerful, almighty," from omnis "all" (see omni-) + potens (genitive potentis) "powerful" (see potent). Related: Omnipotency (late 15c.).

This attribute is in theology differentiated from the abstract idea of omnipotence, understood as capability of doing anything whatever (with no limitation from moral considerations), and is limited by the holiness of God, in accordance with which it is impossible for him to do wrong. [Century Dictionary]
omnipotent (adj.)

early 14c., "almighty, possessing infinite power," from Old French omnipotent "almighty, all-powerful" (11c.) and directly from Latin omnipotentem (nominative omnipotens) "all-powerful, almighty," from omnis "all" (see omni-) + potens (genitive potentis) "powerful" (see potent). Originally of God or a deity; general sense of "having absolute power or authority" is attested from 1590s. Related: Omnipotently.

plenipotentiary (adj.)

"invested with, having, or bestowing full power," 1640s, from French plénipotentiaire and directly from Medieval Latin plenipotentiarius "having full power," from Late Latin plenipotens, from Latin plenus "complete, full" (from PIE root *pele- (1) "to fill") + potentem "powerful" (see potent). As a noun from 1650s, "person invested with full powers to transact any business," especially with reference to an ambassador to a foreign court or government, given full power to negotiate a treaty or transact other business.

posse (n.)

1640s (in Anglo-Latin from early 14c.), shortening of posse comitatus "the force of the county" (1620s, in Anglo-Latin from late 13c.), from Medieval Latin posse "body of men; power," from Latin posse "have power, be able" (see potent) + comitatus "of the county," genitive of Late Latin word for "court palace" (see comitatus). General sense of "an armed force" is from 1640s; the modern slang meaning "small gang" probably is from Western movies.

Posse comitatus, the power of the county; in law, the body of men which the sheriff is empowered to call into service to aid and support him in the execution of the law, as in case of rescue, riot, forcible entry and occupation, etc. It includes all male persons above the age of fifteen. In Great Britain peers and clergymen are excluded by statute. The word comitatus is often omitted, and posse alone is used in the same sense. [Century Dictionary]
possible (adj.)

"that may be, capable of existing, occurring, or being done," mid-14c., from Old French possible and directly from Latin possibilis "that can be done," from posse "be able" (see potent).

The only kind of object which in strict propriety of language can be called possible is the truth of a proposition ; and when a kind of thing is said to be possible, this is to be regarded as an elliptical expression, meaning that it is of such a general description that we do not know it does not exist. So an event or act is said to be possible, meaning that one would not know that it would not come to pass. But it is incorrect to use possible meaning practicable ; possible is what may be, not what can be. [Century Dictionary]
totipotent (adj.)
1896, from Latin toti-, combining form of totus "whole" (see total (adj.)) + potent. Perhaps immediately from German totipotent, which is attested by 1893. Related: Totipotency.