A potentate (from the Latin potens, "powerful') is a person with
potent, sometimes supreme, power. It is synonymous with 'dictator,'
meaning 'A ruler who is unconstrained by law.' In modern English, the
term is used to describe people with much political or business power.
The term is used by some translations of the Bible to describe God, it
can be found in the King James Version translation of 1 Timothy 6:15.
One example of this use is in the hymn "Crown him with many crowns" in
which Jesus is described as "potentate of time"
Originally, it designated the absolute monarch (synonymous with
autocrat, which was also used as a title) of a great state. From the
negative connotations of such rule, mainly in the Orient, derives its
generalized use for the head of any totalitarian and/or abusive
regime, as a synonym for despot, dictator, or tyrant (all three in the
modern, derogatory sense, contrary to a rather lofty historical
origin), also at a sub-state level, or even a big boss in private
It is the title used by the A.A.O.N.M.S. (Shriners) for the head of a
local Shrine chapter. The head of the