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Jan 15, 2014
This week's theme
Words to describe people

This week's words
voluble
intransigent
potentate
sophist
solicitous

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

potentate

PRONUNCIATION:
(POH-ten-tayt)

MEANING:
noun: One having great power, especially an autocratic person.

ETYMOLOGY:
Via French, from Latin posse (to be able). Ultimately from the Indo-European root poti- (powerful, lord), which is also the source of power, potent, possess, pasha, compossible, impuissance, and puissant. Earliest documented use: 1475.

USAGE:
"The company has always been good at finding oil, whether by discovering new fields deep beneath the ocean floor or by schmoozing potentates such as Libya's Colonel Muammar Qaddafi."
Stanley Reed; Refilling BP's Tank; BusinessWeek (New York); Jul 22, 2007.

See more usage examples of potentate in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Never, never be afraid to do what's right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society's punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way. -Martin Luther King Jr., civil-rights leader (1929-1968)

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