1. the condition or quality of being impotent; weakness.
  2. chronic inability to attain or sustain an erection for the performance of a sexual act.
  3. sterility, especially in the male.
  4. Obsolete. lack of self-restraint.

early 15c., “physical weakness,” also “poverty,” from Middle French impotence “weakness,” from Latin impotentia “lack of control or power,” from impotentem (nominative impotens); see impotent. In reference to a want of (male) sexual potency, from c.1500. The figurative senses of the word in Latin were “violence, fury, unbridled passion.” Related: Impotency.


  1. The quality or condition of being impotent.
  2. erectile dysfunction

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