What does impotent mean?

Definitions for impotent
ˈɪm pə təntim·po·tent

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word impotent.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. impotentadjective

    lacking power or ability

    "Technology without morality is barbarous; morality without technology is impotent"- Freeman J.Dyson; "felt impotent rage"

  2. impotentadjective

    (of a male) unable to copulate


  1. Impotentadjective

    (Med.) Wanting the power of procreation; unable to copulate; also, sometimes, sterile; barren; specifically, in males: unable to achieve or sustain a penile erection.


  1. impotentadjective

    Lacking physical strength or vigor; weak.

  2. impotentadjective

    Lacking in power, as to act effectively; helpless

  3. impotentadjective

    Incapable of sexual intercourse, often because of an inability to achieve or sustain an erection.

  4. impotentadjective


  5. impotentadjective

    Lacking self-restraint.

  6. Etymology: impotens, from in- (expresses negation) + potens.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. IMPOTENTadjective

    Etymology: impotent, Fr. impotens, Latin.

    We that are strong must bear the imbecillity of the impotent, and not please ourselves. Richard Hooker.

    Yet wealth is impotent
    To gain dominion, or to keep it gain'd. John Milton.

    Although in dreadful whirls we hung,
    High on the broken wave,
    I knew thou wert not slow to hear,
    Nor impotent to save. Joseph Addison, Spectator.

    In those porches lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, and withered. Jo. v. 3.

    There sat a certain man, impotent in his feet, being a cripple from his mother's womb, who never had walked. Acts xiv.

    I have learn'd that fearful commenting
    Is leaden servitor to dull delay;
    Delay leads impotent and snail-pac'd beggary. William Shakespeare, R. III.

    With jealous eyes at distance she had seen,
    Whisp'ring with Jove, the silver-footed queen;
    Then, impotent of tongue, her silence broke,
    Thus turbulent in rattling tone she spoke. Dryden.

    He told beau Prim, who is thought impotent, that his mistress would not have him, because he is a sloven, and had committed a rape. Tatler.


  1. impotent

    Erectile dysfunction (ED), also called impotence, is the type of sexual dysfunction in which the penis fails to become or stay erect during sexual activity. It is the most common sexual problem in men. Through its connection to self-image and to problems in sexual relationships, erectile dysfunction can cause psychological harm. In about 80% of cases, physical causes can be identified. These include cardiovascular disease; diabetes mellitus; neurological problems, such as those following prostatectomy; hypogonadism; and drug side effects. About 10% of cases are psychological impotence, caused by thoughts or feelings; here, there is a strong response to placebo treatment. The term erectile dysfunction is not used for other disorders of erection, such as priapism. Treatment involves addressing the underlying causes, lifestyle modifications, and addressing psychosocial problems. In many cases, treatment is attempted by drugs, specifically PDE5 inhibitors (such as sildenafil), which dilate blood vessels, allowing more blood to flow through the spongy tissue of the penis (akin to opening a valve further in order to allow more water to enter a fire hose). Other treatments, less commonly used, include prostaglandin pellets, inserted in the urethra; smooth-muscle relaxants and vasodilators, injected into the penis; penile implants; penis pumps; and vascular reconstructive surgery.


  1. impotent

    Impotent generally refers to the inability or lack of power to perform or accomplish something. Most commonly, it's used in a medical context to describe the inability of a man to achieve or maintain an erection for sexual intercourse. However, it can also be applied more broadly to any situation of helplessness or powerlessness.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Impotentadjective

    not potent; wanting power, strength. or vigor. whether physical, intellectual, or moral; deficient in capacity; destitute of force; weak; feeble; infirm

  2. Impotentadjective

    wanting the power of self-restraint; incontrolled; ungovernable; violent

  3. Impotentadjective

    wanting the power of procreation; unable to copulate; also, sometimes, sterile; barren

  4. Impotentnoun

    one who is imoitent

  5. Etymology: [F. impotent, L. impotens, -entis; pref. im- not + potens potent, powerful. See Potent.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Impotent

    im′po-tent, adj. powerless: without sexual power: wanting the power of self-restraint.—ns. Im′potence, Im′potency.—adv. Im′potently.

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  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of impotent in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of impotent in Pythagorean Numerology is: 4

Examples of impotent in a Sentence

  1. Luis Fernando Arias:

    Others like him feel impotent, powerless to solve the problems their people face, and have taken their own life.

  2. Scott C. Holstad:

    Ashes keep drifting onto my paper, charcoal snowflakes on a minefield of blanks, words bouncing around off each other uttering impotent images of sight sound terror life crying for recognition, narcissistic eunuchs reflecting my face, ruining the snowfield.

  3. Marc Polymeropoulos:

    A highly partisan new CIA chief would be seen with great suspicion in foreign capitals, thereby rendering our liaison partnerships close to impotent until the next administration, simply put, that puts America at great risk.

  4. Donald Trump:

    They have been impotent in the face of the greatest threat that we have ever known -- one that we experienced first-hand here in El Paso a week ago Saturday, it's almost as if the bigger the lie, the more obvious the injustice, the more furious the pace of this bizarre behavior, the more incapable we are of seeing it and clearly naming it and acting against it.

  5. Art Hackney:

    In most of those states what they did worked but in Alaska it doesn't, in Alaska they had an impotent system.

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Translations for impotent

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"impotent." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 23 Jul 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/impotent>.

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    an embarrassing mistake
    A excogitate
    B flub
    C abet
    D exacerbate

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