early 15c., from Latin potentem (nominative potens) "powerful," present participle of *potere "be powerful," from potis "powerful, able, capable; possible;" of persons, "better, preferable; chief, principal; strongest, foremost," from PIE root *poti- "powerful, lord" (cf. Sanskrit patih "master, husband," Greek posis, Lithuanian patis "husband"). Meaning "having sexual power" is first recorded 1899.
potent po·tent (pōt'nt)
Exerting or capable of exerting strong physiological or chemical effects.
Able to perform sexual intercourse. Used of a male.