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[poht-n-see] /ˈpoʊt n si/
noun, plural potencies for 4–6.
the state or quality of being potent.
power; authority.
efficacy; effectiveness; strength.
capacity to be, become, or develop; potentiality.
a person or thing exerting power or influence.
Mathematics, cardinal number (def 2).
Also, potence.
Origin of potency
1530-40; < Latin potentia. See potent1, -ency
Related forms
overpotency, noun
1. strength, force, energy, capacity, potential. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for potency
  • Conversely, some antacids increase the potency of certain drugs.
  • Such is the fabulous potency of the idea of the book.
  • All known pit vipers are venomous, although their potency varies across species.
  • Because the potency is so low in the supplements that it has no effect.
  • Rush immunotherapy has been tried, but far too often patients have had severe reactions to the higher potency shots.
  • The nonprofit offers kits to test ecstasy's potency.
  • There is some concern that increasing use of combinations may reduce the potency of some of the vaccines.
  • But the potency of these issues will have faded by the time of the next election.
  • Pot strains vary in potency and the nature of their effect.
  • Humanity's ascent to global potency is a culmination of creative ideas that are the trademark of our species.
British Dictionary definitions for potency


noun (pl) -tencies, -tences
the state or quality of being potent
latent or inherent capacity for growth or development
Word Origin
C16: from Latin potentia power, from posse to be able
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for potency

mid-15c., from Latin potentia "power," from potentem "potent" (see potent).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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potency in Medicine

potency po·ten·cy (pōt'n-sē)

  1. The quality or condition of being potent.

  2. The pharmacological activity of a compound.

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