top of page
The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce potentate (audio)

Dictionary definition of potentate

A person who holds great power, authority or control over a particular territory or people.
"The people feared the potentate's wrath and dared not oppose his rule."

Detailed meaning of potentate

The term is often used to describe rulers, monarchs, or other leaders who have an absolute or near-absolute level of control over their subjects. Potentates can come to power through a variety of means, including inheritance, military conquest, or popular support, and they are often viewed as symbols of stability and order. In some cases, the term potentate can also be used more broadly to refer to any individual who wields significant influence or power over others, regardless of their official position or title. Overall, the term potentate emphasizes the individual's position of authority and their ability to shape the lives of those under their rule.

Example sentences containing potentate

1. The potentate's lavish lifestyle was in stark contrast to the poverty of his subjects.
2. In history class, we studied the reign of a notorious potentate known for his cruelty.
3. Under the rule of the enlightened potentate, the arts and sciences flourished remarkably.
4. The potentate was ousted from power following a revolution that changed the course of history.
5. Diplomats were careful when negotiating with the potentate, aware of his unpredictable nature.
6. The potentate had a reputation for listening to his advisors, making well-informed decisions.

History and etymology of potentate

The noun 'potentate' has its origins in Late Latin, particularly from the word 'potentatus,' which is derived from 'potens,' meaning 'powerful' or 'mighty.' Etymologically, 'potentate' can be understood as a 'powerful ruler' or 'mighty authority.' This term is used to describe a person who holds great power, authority, or control over a particular territory or group of people. A potentate typically possesses significant influence and often rules with an authoritative and dominant hand. The etymology of 'potentate' underscores the idea of a figure of immense power and influence, signifying their commanding presence and ability to shape the course of events in their domain.

Quiz: Find the meaning of potentate

Try Again!


Further usage examples of potentate

1. During his reign, the potentate implemented a series of reforms to modernize the judicial system.
2. The potentate faced internal opposition, as some factions questioned his legitimacy to rule.
3. With a wave of his hand, the potentate could command armies, demonstrating his immense power.
4. In the novel, the potentate was portrayed as a complex character with both virtues and vices.
5. Despite being a potentate with enormous wealth, he lived modestly, focusing on his duties.
6. Scholars often debate the legacy of the potentate, whose rule was a mix of tyranny and progress.
7. The potentate held an annual festival to celebrate the harvest and thank the gods for their bounty.
8. Many potentates in history have sought to expand their territories through conquest and alliances.
9. The people lived in fear under the potentate, who ruled with an iron fist and tolerated no dissent.
10. The potentate's fall from power became the subject of numerous plays, documentaries, and books.
11. As a child, the potentate was trained in various subjects to prepare for a life of leadership.
12. Surrounding himself with wise counselors, the potentate aimed to rule justly and impartially.
13. The potentate made charitable contributions to religious institutions, earning him public goodwill.
14. For years, the potentate held a tight grip on power, skillfully navigating political challenges.
15. The ancient kingdom was ruled by a powerful potentate who had absolute control over his subjects.
16. The famous palace was built to impress the visiting potentates and dignitaries.
17. The wealthy potentate had a collection of rare artifacts from around the world.
18. The potentate's lavish lifestyle was supported by the labor of his subjects.
19. The neighboring potentates gathered for a conference to discuss a peace treaty.
20. The potentate's army was feared throughout the region for their strength and discipline.
21. The potentate's health was closely guarded and attended to by the best physicians.
22. The potentate granted land and titles to his loyal followers.
23. The potentate's palace was filled with luxurious furnishings and rare works of art.
24. The potentate's edicts were law and were obeyed without question.
25. The potentate's reign was marked by both prosperity and oppression.



ruler, subordinate, underling, subject


Authority and Control, Community and Society, Dominance and Supremacy, Governance and Authority, Influence and Persuasion, Strength and Resilience, Leadership and Governance

bottom of page