- The definition of a potentate is a ruler or someone with power.
An example of a potentate is a king.
potentate definition by Webster's New World
Origin: Middle English potentat ; from Late Latin potentatus ; from Ecclesiastical Late Latin power, rule ; from Classical Latin potens: see potent
potentate definition by American Heritage Dictionary
- One who has the power and position to rule over others; a monarch.
- One who dominates or leads a group or an endeavor: industrial potentates.
Origin: Middle English potentat, from Old French, from Late Latin potentātus, from Latin, power, from potēns, present participle of posse, to be able; see potent.