Synonyms & Antonyms of power

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 the right or means to command or control others
  • the emir has nearly complete power over the emirate

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2 the ability to exert effort for the accomplishment of a task
  • the corporation has the power to accomplish almost anything
  • you'll need to build a bit more power in order to be a star pitcher

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3 a natural ability of the mind or body
  • dogs have a very highly developed power of smell

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4 something with a usable capacity for doing work
  • nuclear power

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Synonyms & Antonyms of power (Entry 2 of 2)

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Frequently Asked Questions About power

How does the noun power contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of power are authority, command, control, dominion, jurisdiction, and sway. While all these words 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

When can authority be used instead of power?

Although the words authority and power have much in common, authority implies power for a specific purpose within specified limits.

granted the authority to manage her estate

When might command be a better fit than power?

While in some cases nearly identical to power, command implies the power to make arbitrary decisions and compel obedience.

the army officer in command

When would control be a good substitute for power?

The meanings of control and power largely overlap; however, control stresses the power to direct and restrain.

you are responsible for the students under your control

In what contexts can dominion take the place of power?

The words dominion and power are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, dominion stresses sovereign power or supreme authority.

given dominion over all the animals

When could jurisdiction be used to replace power?

The synonyms jurisdiction and power are sometimes interchangeable, but jurisdiction applies to official power exercised within prescribed limits.

the bureau having jurisdiction over parks

Where would sway be a reasonable alternative to power?

In some situations, the words sway and power are roughly equivalent. However, sway suggests the extent of exercised power or influence.

the empire extended its sway over the region

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Time Traveler for power

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The first known use of power was in the 13th century

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Cite this Entry

“Power.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Aug. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on power

Nglish: Translation of power for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of power for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about power


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