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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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Word Origin and History for 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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impotence 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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