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impotence

[im-puh-tuh ns] /ˈɪm pə təns/
noun
1.
the condition or quality of being impotent; weakness.
2.
chronic inability to attain or sustain an erection for the performance of a sexual act.
3.
sterility, especially in the male.
4.
Obsolete. lack of self-restraint.
Also, impotency, impotentness.
Origin
1375-1425
1375-1425; late Middle English, variant (see -ence) of impotencie < Latin impotentia want of self-control, weakness. See im-2, potency
Can be confused
impetus, impotence, sterility.
importance, impotence (see synonym study at importance)
impotence, sterility, sterilized.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for impotency
  • Where now he realized only his own inconsequence, effort would make him aware of his own impotency and insufficiency.
Word Origin and History for impotency

impotence

n.

early 15c., "physical weakness," also "poverty," from Middle French impotence "weakness," from Latin impotentia "lack of control or power," from impotentem (nominative impotens); see impotent. In reference to a want of (male) sexual potency, from c.1500. The figurative senses of the word in Latin were "violence, fury, unbridled passion." Related: Impotency.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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impotency in Medicine

impotence im·po·tence (ĭm'pə-təns) or im·po·ten·cy (-tən-sē)
n.
The quality or condition of being impotent.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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