- The definition of a potentate is a ruler or someone with power.
An example of a potentate is a king.
Origin: Middle English potentat from Late Latin potentatus from LL(Ec), power, rule from Classical Latin potens: see potent
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- 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.