see also: Power
  • (RP) IPA: /ˈpaʊə(ɹ)/, /ˈpaʊ.ə(ɹ)/
    • (with triphthong smoothing) IPA: /paə/, /paː/, /pɑː/
  • (America) IPA: /ˈpaʊ.ɚ/, /ˈpaʊɹ/, [ˈpʰaʊ̯ɚ], [ˈpʰaʊ̯ɹ]


  1. Ability to do or undergo something.
    • 2018, Marilyn McCord Adams, Horrendous Evils and the Goodness of God (page 74)
      If it is spirits who have power to suffer, it seems they would also have active powers to think and will.
  2. (social) Ability to coerce, influence or control.
    1. (countable) Ability to affect or influence.
      • 1749, Henry Fielding, The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling. In Six Volumes, volume III, London: Printed by A[ndrew] Millar, […], OCLC 928184292 ↗, book ii:
        An incident which happened about this time will set the characters of these two lads more fairly before the discerning reader than is in the power of the longest dissertation.
      • 1749, Henry Fielding, The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling. In Six Volumes, volume III, London: Printed by A[ndrew] Millar, […], OCLC 928184292 ↗, book iii:
        Thwackum, on the contrary, maintained that the human mind, since the fall, was nothing but a sink of iniquity, till purified and redeemed by grace. […] The favourite phrase of the former, was the natural beauty of virtue; that of the latter, was the divine power of grace.
      • 1998, Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now
        Past and future obviously have no reality of their own. Just as the moon has no light of its own, but can only reflect the light of the sun, so are past and future only pale reflections of the light, power, and reality of the eternal present.
    2. Control or coercion, particularly legal or political (jurisdiction).
      • 1949, Eric Blair, aka George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four
        The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness: only power, pure power. [...] We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means, it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power.
      • 2005, Columbia Law Review, April
        In the face of expanding federal power, California in particular struggled to maintain control over its Chinese population.
    3. (metonymy) (chiefly in the plural) The people in charge of legal or political power, the government.
    4. (metonymy) An influential nation, company, or other such body.
  3. (physical, uncountable) Effectiveness.
    1. Physical force or strength.
      He needed a lot of power to hit the ball out of the stadium.
    2. Electricity or a supply of electricity.
      After the pylons collapsed, this town was without power for a few days.
    3. A measure of the rate of doing work or transferring energy.
    4. The strength by which a lens or mirror magnifies an optical image.
      We need a microscope with higher power.
  4. (colloquial, dated) A large amount or number.
    • , Raphael Holinshed, Chronicles of England, Scotland and Ireland
      The threatning words of duke Robert comming at the last to king Henries eares, caused him foorthwith to conceiue verie sore displeasure against a power of men sent into Normandie.
  5. Any of the elementary forms or parts of machines: three primary (the lever, inclined plane, and pulley) and three secondary (the wheel-and-axle, wedge, and screw).
    the mechanical powers
  6. (physics, mechanics) A measure of the effectiveness that a force producing a physical effect has over time. If linear, the quotient of: (force multiplied by the displacement of or in an object) ÷ time. If rotational, the quotient of: (force multiplied by the angle of displacement) ÷ time.
  7. (mathematics)
    1. A product of equal factors (and generalizations of this notion): x^n, read as "x to the power of n" or the like, is called a power and denotes the product x \times x \times \cdots \times x, where x appears n times in the product; x is called the base and n the exponent.
    2. (set theory) Cardinality.
    3. (statistics) The probability that a statistical test will reject the null hypothesis when the alternative hypothesis is true.
  8. (biblical, in plural) In Christian angelology, an intermediate level of angels, ranked above archangels, but exact position varies by classification scheme.
Synonyms Antonyms Translations Translations Translations
  • Russian: власть
Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations
  • Portuguese: potência
  • Russian: мо́щность
Translations Translations Translations
  • Italian: potenze celesti
  • Portuguese: potestade

power (powers, present participle powering; past and past participle powered)

  1. (transitive) To provide power for (a mechanical or electronic device).
    This CD player is powered by batteries.
  2. (transitive) To hit or kick something forcefully.
  3. To enable or provide the impetus for.
Translations Translations
  • Spanish: potenciar


  1. (Singapore, colloquial) Impressive.


power (plural powers)

  1. A button of a computer, a video game console, or similar device, that when pressed, causes the device to be either shut down or powered up.
Proper noun
  1. Surname

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