powerful

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English pouerful, powarfull, equivalent to power +‎ -ful.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

powerful (comparative more powerful or powerfuller or powerfuler, superlative most powerful or powerfullest or powerfulest)

  1. Having, or capable of exerting power, potency or influence.
    • c. 1591–1595, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Romeo and Ivliet”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act II, scene iii]:
      The powerful grace that lies / In herbs, plants, stones, and their true qualities.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 19, in The China Governess[1]:
      As soon as Julia returned with a constable, Timothy, who was on the point of exhaustion, prepared to give over to him gratefully. The newcomer turned out to be a powerful youngster, fully trained and eager to help, and he stripped off his tunic at once.
    • 2004, Carlin, George, “NOTHING CHANGES”, in When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops?[2], New York: Hyperion Books, →ISBN, OCLC 757869006, OL 24604921M, page 106:
      Dear Political Activists
      All your chanting, marching, voting, picketing, boycotting and letter-writing will not change a thing; you will never right the wrongs of this world. The only thing your activity will accomplish is to make some of you feel better. Such activity makes powerless people feel useful, and provides them the illusion that they're making a difference. But it doesn't work. Nothing changes. The powerful keep the power. That's why they're called the powerful.
  2. Leading to many or important deductions.
    a powerful set of postulates
    a powerful theorem
  3. (mining) Large; capacious; said of veins of ore.

Synonyms[edit]

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Adverb[edit]

powerful (comparative more powerful, superlative most powerful)

  1. (Southern US) Synonym of very

Anagrams[edit]