potentate

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English potentat, from Old French, from Late Latin potentātus (rule, political power), from Latin potēns (powerful, strong), the active present participle of possum (I am able).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

potentate (plural potentates)

  1. A powerful leader; a monarch; a ruler
    • 1592, Shakespeare, Henry VI, Part I, act iii, scene 2
      But Kings and mightieſt Potentates muſt die,
      For that's the end of humane miſerie.
    • 1900, Theodore Dreiser, "Sister Carrie"
      She was now one of a group of oriental beauties who, in the second act of the comic opera, were paraded by the vizier before the new potentate as the treasures of his harem.

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