the powers that be


: the people who decide what is allowed or acceptable in a group, organization, etc.
The students wanted to have a big party, but the powers that be didn't approve.

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web While managers may not be able to do away with monitoring mandates from the powers that be, there are ways to implement trust and psychological safety with your team. L'oreal Thompson Payton, Fortune Well, 10 Apr. 2023 As for whether Henry will be back in later seasons, the powers that be are giving nothing away. Amy Mackelden, ELLE, 8 Feb. 2023 That’s up to the powers that be — my agent, whoever else. Dave Hyde, Sun Sentinel, 19 Jan. 2023 Yet the powers that be still refuse to throw Dexter Jettster a cameo. Brendan Morrow, The Week, 4 Jan. 2023 Beyond the story of artists running afoul of the powers that be is one of a bond of deep friendship, a kinship that transcends literal logic. Michael Ordoña, Los Angeles Times, 15 Nov. 2022 Put that in the article, so the powers that be can read it. Lauren Huff,, 2 Nov. 2022 The flurry of activity among streaming platforms in Spain over the past decade has of course not been lost on the powers that be. Jennifer Green, The Hollywood Reporter, 1 Nov. 2022 And the church battle is a microcosm of a larger one over the legacy of the 1950s project, in which leaders in the Black community have long sought redress from the powers that be in Pittsburgh’s political, business and sports realms. Peter Smith, Chicago Tribune, 14 Apr. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'the powers that be.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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Cite this Entry

“The powers that be.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jun. 2023.

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