• (British) IPA: /ˈpəʊ.tən.teɪt/
  • (America) IPA: /ˈpoʊ.tən.teɪt/

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.
  2. A powerful polity or institution.
  3. (derogatory) A self-important person.
Translations Adjective


  1. (obsolete) Regnant, powerful, dominant.

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