great power

noun, often capitalized G&P

Definition of great power 

: one of the nations that figure most decisively in international affairs : superpower

Examples of great power in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

These two nations were often distracted by great power rivalry or a desire to look inward (or just focus on its empire). Paul Poast, Washington Post, "These surprising countries could emerge as the heroes of NATO — and the liberal world order," 10 July 2018 Erdogan’s adviser Ilnur Cevik told The Associated Press in an interview, countering accusations that Erdogan is in pursuit of greater powers. Washington Post, "Turkey’s Erdogan seeks new term with greater powers," 21 June 2018 Speaking from his Quirinal Palace, Mr. Mattarella, who is imbued by Italy’s Constitution with great powers during a government transition period, pointed out that Italy was one of the founding members of the European Union. Jason Horowitz, New York Times, "Italy’s Populist Parties, on Precipice of Power, Fail to Form Government," 27 May 2018 The decision came as U.S. lawmakers in Congress push legislation that would give Washington greater power to block deals between American and Chinese companies that could risk national security. Paul Vieira, WSJ, "Canada Blocks China-Led Deal for Construction Firm," 23 May 2018 But with great power comes a corresponding need for great reserves of power. Erik Sofge, Popular Mechanics, "The Golden Age of Walking Bots That Never Arrived," 25 Mar. 2016 Because great powers compete in a grey zone between peace and war, that risks miscalculation. The Economist, "The Western alliance is in trouble," 5 July 2018 Schmitt, who served as the Senate committee's Democratic director in the early 1980s, said the Senate panel was set up to give the minority party greater power than in a traditional committee. Erin Kelly, USA TODAY, "How has the Senate Intelligence Committee stayed united on the Russia probe that split the House?," 30 May 2018 The practical effect has almost always been lower voter turnout for the state contests, even though those officials hold far greater power over everyday life for Californians than does the president. John Myers,, "California's primary election saw higher turnout than recent years, but most voters still skipped it," 10 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'great power.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of great power

1660, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

3 Oct 2018

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The first known use of great power was in 1660

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evasion of direct action or statement

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