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4 definitions found
 for potentate
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Potentate \Po"ten*tate\, n. [LL. potentatus, fr. potentare to
     exercise power: cf. F. potentat. See Potent, a.]
     One who is potent; one who possesses great power or sway; a
     prince, sovereign, or monarch.
     [1913 Webster]
           The blessed and only potentate.          --1 Tim. vi.
     [1913 Webster]
           Cherub and seraph, potentates and thrones. --Milton.
     [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

      n 1: a ruler who is unconstrained by law [syn: dictator,

From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 :

  27 Moby Thesaurus words for "potentate":
     anointed king, chief, chieftain, crowned head, dynast, emperor,
     grand duke, high chief, imperator, king, king-emperor, kinglet,
     lord paramount, majesty, monarch, overlord, paramount, petty king,
     prince, prince consort, royal, royal personage, royalty, ruler,
     sovereign, suzerain, tetrarch

From Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856) :

  POTENTATE. One who has a great power over, an extended country; a sovereign. 
       2. By the naturalization laws, an alien is required, before he can be 
  naturalized, to renounce all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, 
  potentate, state, or sovereign whatever.