Meaning of “powerful” in the English Dictionary

"powerful" in British English

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powerfuladjective

uk /ˈpaʊə.fəl/ us /ˈpaʊ.ɚ.fəl/

powerful adjective (CONTROL)

B1 having a lot of power to control people and events:

The president is more powerful than the prime minister.
She's the most powerful person in the organization.

More examples

powerful adjective (STRENGTH)

B1 having a lot of strength or force:

She's an extremely powerful runner.
The picture quality is bad because the TV signal isn't powerful enough.

B2 having a very great effect:

a powerful drug
Her speech about cruelty to children was very powerful.

powerful adjective (IMAGE SIZE)

having the power to increase the size of an image of something that is very small or far away many times:

You'd need an extremely powerful microscope to see something so small.
powerfully
adverb uk /ˈpaʊə.fəl.i/ us /ˈpaʊ.ɚ.fəl.i/

B2

He argued powerfully and persuasively against capital punishment.
She kicked the ball so powerfully that it flew over the hedge.
Klaus is a very powerfully built man (= has a body with large strong muscles).

(Definition of “powerful” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"powerful" in American English

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powerfuladjective

us /ˈpɑʊ·ər·fəl/

powerful adjective (STRONG)

strong:

The picture quality is bad because the TV signal isn’t powerful enough.

Things that are powerful have a strong effect:

a powerful drug

powerful adjective (CONTROLLING)

having a lot of power:

He’s in a powerful position as an adviser of the president.

(Definition of “powerful” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)