Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

power

play
noun, often attributive pow·er \ˈpau̇(-ə)r\

Simple Definition of power

  • : the ability or right to control people or things

  • : political control of a country or area

  • : a person or organization that has a lot of control and influence over other people or organizations

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of power

  1. 1 a (1) :  ability to act or produce an effect (2) :  ability to get extra-base hits (3) :  capacity for being acted upon or undergoing an effect b :  legal or official authority, capacity, or right

  2. 2 a :  possession of control, authority, or influence over others b :  one having such power; specifically :  a sovereign state c :  a controlling group :  establishment —often used in the phrase the powers that be d archaic :  a force of armed men e chiefly dialect :  a large number or quantity

  3. 3 a :  physical might b :  mental or moral efficacy c :  political control or influence

  4. 4 plural :  an order of angels — see celestial hierarchy

  5. 5 a :  the number of times as indicated by an exponent that a number occurs as a factor in a product <5 to the third power is 125>; also :  the product itself <8 is a power of 2> b :  cardinal number 2

  6. 6 a :  a source or means of supplying energy; especially :  electricity b :  motive power c :  the time rate at which work is done or energy emitted or transferred

  7. 7 :  magnification 2b

  8. 8 :  1scope 3

  9. 9 :  the probability of rejecting the null hypothesis in a statistical test when a particular alternative hypothesis happens to be true

Examples of power in a sentence

  1. She is from a very wealthy family with a lot of social power.

  2. The company abused its power, forcing workers to work overtime without pay.

  3. The company was almost destroyed in a power struggle between its two founders.

  4. After the emperor died, power passed to his eldest son.

  5. the peaceful transfer of power to the newly elected president

  6. The president was removed from power in the recent uprising.

  7. The new government has taken power.

  8. The rebels rose to power several years ago.

  9. A small company with only a few products has grown to become a power in the industry.

  10. Our state is now the region's leading economic power.



Origin and Etymology of power

Middle English, from Anglo-French poer, pouer, from poer to be able, from Vulgar Latin *potēre, alteration of Latin posse — more at potent


First Known Use: 13th century

Synonym Discussion of power

power, authority, jurisdiction, control, command, sway, dominion mean the right to govern or rule or determine. power implies possession of ability to wield force, authority, or influence <the power to mold public opinion>. authority implies power for a specific purpose within specified limits <granted the authority to manage her estate>. jurisdiction applies to official power exercised within prescribed limits <the bureau having jurisdiction over parks>. control stresses the power to direct and restrain <you are responsible for the students under your control>. command implies the power to make arbitrary decisions and compel obedience <the army officer in command>. sway suggests the extent of exercised power or influence <the empire extended its sway over the region>. dominion stresses sovereign power or supreme authority <given dominion over all the animals>.power, force, energy, strength, might mean the ability to exert effort. power may imply latent or exerted physical, mental, or spiritual ability to act or be acted upon <the awesome power of flowing water>. force implies the actual effective exercise of power <used enough force to push the door open>. energy applies to power expended or capable of being transformed into work <a worker with boundless energy>. strength applies to the quality or property of a person or thing that makes possible the exertion of force or the withstanding of strain, pressure, or attack <use weight training to build your strength>. might implies great or overwhelming power or strength <the belief that might makes right>.

2

power

verb pow·er

Simple Definition of power

  • : to supply (something) with power

  • : to move with great speed or force

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of power

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to supply with power and especially motive power

  3. 2 :  to give impetus to

  4. intransitive verb
  5. 1 :  to move about by means of motive power

  6. 2 :  to move with great speed or force

Examples of power in a sentence

  1. The running back powered through the defensive line.

  2. He powered the ball past the goalie.

  3. She powered her way to the finish line.



1540

First Known Use of power

1540


3

power

adjective pow·er

Simple Definition of power

  • : of or relating to electrical power

  • : operated by using electricity rather than a person's strength

  • : having great strength or power

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of power

  1. 1 :  operated mechanically or electrically rather than manually <a car with power locks> <power tools>

  2. 2 :  of, relating to, or utilizing strength <plays a power game>; also :  powerful 1 <a power critic>

  3. 3 :  of, relating to, or being a meal at which influential people discuss business or politics <a power lunch>

Examples of power in a sentence

  1. The car comes equipped with power windows.



1822

First Known Use of power

1822

Other Electrical Engineering Terms



POWER Defined for Kids

1

power

play
noun pow·er \ˈpau̇-ər\

Definition of power for Students

  1. 1 :  possession of control, authority, or influence over others

  2. 2 :  a nation that has influence among other nations <a foreign power>

  3. 3 :  the ability to act or produce an effect <It's in your power to change things.>

  4. 4 :  the right to do something <the president's powers>

  5. 5 :  physical might :  strength <The wind grew in power.>

  6. 6 :  the number of times as shown by an exponent that a number is used as a factor to obtain a product <103 is the third power of 10 and means 10 × 10 × 10.>

  7. 7 :  force or energy used to do work <electric power>

  8. 8 :  the rate of speed at which work is done

  9. 9 :  the number of times an optical instrument (as a microscope) magnifies the object viewed




2

power

play
verb pow·er

Definition of power for Students

powered

powering

  1. :  to supply with a form of energy <The old train was powered by coal.>




Medical Dictionary

power

play
noun pow·er \ˈpau̇(-ə)r\

Medical Definition of power

  1. 1:  an inherent property or effect <a drug that enhances the heart's pumping power—Kathleen Fackelmann>

  2. 2:  magnification 2b




Law Dictionary

power

noun pow·er

Legal Definition of power

  1. 1 :  capability of acting or of producing an effect <parties of unequal bargaining power>

  2. 2a :  authority or capacity to act that is delegated by law or constitution —often used in plural commerce power often cap C&P :  the power delegated to Congress under Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution to regulate commerce especially among the states — see also commerce clause concurrent power :  a power that is held simultaneously by more than one entity; specifically :  a power delegated to the federal government by the U.S. Constitution that is also held by the states enumerated powers \i-ˈnü-mə-ˌrā-təd-, -ˈnyü-\ :  the powers specifically named and delegated to the federal government or prohibited to be exercised by the states under the U.S. Constitution — compare reserved powers in this entry executive power :  the power delegated to the executive of a government; specifically :  any or all of the powers delegated to the president under Article II of the U.S. Constitution implied power :  a power that is reasonably necessary and appropriate to carry out the purposes of a power expressly granted; especially :  a power that is not specifically delegated to the federal government by the U.S. Constitution but that is implied by the necessary and proper clause to be delegated for the purpose of carrying out the enumerated powers — see also McCulloch v. Maryland judicial power :  the power granted to the judicial branch of a government; specifically :  the power delegated to the judiciary under Article III of the U.S. Constitution legislative power :  the power delegated to a legislative branch of a government; specifically :  any or all of the powers delegated to Congress under Article I of the U.S. Constitution police power :  the power of a government to exercise reasonable control over persons and property within its jurisdiction in the interest of the general security, health, safety, morals, and welfare except where legally prohibited (as by constitutional provision) reserved powers :  the political powers reserved by a constitution to the exclusive jurisdiction of a specified political authority; specifically :  powers that are not expressly delegated to the federal government nor expressly prohibited to the states and are therefore left to the states under the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution — compare enumerated powers in this entry spending power :  the power granted to a government body to make expenditures; specifically :  the power delegated to Congress under Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the U.S. taxing power :  the power granted to a government body to lay and collect taxes; specifically :  such power delegated to Congress under Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution war powers :  the powers delegated to the executive and legislative branches of the federal government relating to the waging of war: as a :  the power delegated to Congress under Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution to declare war b :  the power delegated to the president under Article II, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution to serve as commander in chief of the armed forces b :  an ability, authority, or right usually conferred by one person upon another to do something that effects a change in a legal relationship; specifically :  such authority or right to affect another's interest in property (as by conveyance) — see also power of appointment, power of attorney collateral power :  naked power in this entry general power :  a power that may be exercised in favor of anyone including the donee implied power :  the power of one acting under an implied agency naked power :  a power (as a power of sale) granted to one who has no interest in the property to which the power relates (as an executor who is not a legatee or devisee) —called also collateral power — compare power coupled with an interest in this entry power appendant \-ə-ˈpen-dənt\ :  a power coupled with an interest (as a grant of a lease) that the donee can exercise only out of an estate (as a life estate) that he or she holds —called also power appurtenant power coupled with an interest :  a power accompanying an interest of the donee in the property to which the power relates power in gross :  a naked power exercisable by the donee only in the creation of estates that will not attach to the estate the donee holds or be satisfied out of the donee's own interest power of acceptance :  the power of an offeree to bind an offeror to a contract by accepting the offer power of modification \-ˌmä-də-fə-ˈkā-shən\ :  a power reserved in an instrument (as one creating a trust) to make changes by a specified method power of revocation :  a power usually reserved by a person in an instrument (as one creating a trust) to revoke the legal relationship that the person has created or made a possibility power of sale :  a power granted (as in a will, trust, or mortgage) to sell the property to which the power relates often under specified circumstances (as upon the default of a mortgage) power of termination :  a power of a grantor or the grantor's successors in interest to enter upon an estate that was granted upon a condition after the breach of the condition in order to terminate the granted estate and revest it in the grantor or successors in interest —called also right of entry, right of reentry special power :  a power in which the person or class of persons to whom the disposition of property under the power is to be made is expressly designated and excludes the donee or where the power is to transfer, charge, or encumber any estate less than a fee simple stock power :  an irrevocable power of attorney used in making a transfer of a certificate of stock

  3. 3a :  possession of control, authority, or influence over others b :  one having such power; specifically :  a sovereign state c :  political control or influence





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up power? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a secret group of plotters

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

dog-eating-apple

Which is a synonym of asperse?

defame beat divulge placate
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ