Definition of power in English:

power

noun

  • 1The ability or capacity to do something or act in a particular way:

    ‘the power of speech’
    ‘I will do everything in my power to help you’
    ‘his powers of concentration’
    • ‘First it is a denial of the power of the human intellect to reason out understanding.’
    • ‘To assess the chances, let me look a little more closely at the destructive power of an impact event.’
    • ‘Frequent trips to the loo are commonplace, along with losing the power of speech.’
    • ‘The power of speech went first, as my tongue swelled to the size of a bouncy castle.’
    • ‘We are baffled before the mystery of life, the powers of nature, the power of sin, and the fact of death.’
    • ‘We live in a country where we do have some power to influence the actions of our governments.’
    • ‘The powers of technology harnessed with the power of the human mind fused into one supreme being capable of the impossible.’
    • ‘The basic question posed by war is about the powers of endurance and capacity for sacrifice of the two sides.’
    • ‘Casper believes himself to have the power of clairvoyance, though he has no reasons for this belief.’
    • ‘He preached a simple, effective message of a common humanity and the power of love.’
    • ‘In 1969 he began to demonstrate his powers of telepathy and psychokinesis to small audiences.’
    • ‘I can use any number of tools, from the powers of composition and imagination to the power of a computer, to make an image be what I want it to be.’
    • ‘The planet's influence will be detrimental while its power to express the influence is augmented.’
    • ‘We cannot underestimate the power of spirit, love and compassion to effect change.’
    • ‘You and you alone can rescue these people with your amazing powers of common sense.’
    • ‘This is a story of the power of love and both its trials and its obsessions.’
    • ‘Both are also role models with enormous power to influence their peer group.’
    • ‘The power of affection or love has its place because the world longs for redemption.’
    • ‘Advertisers have little power to influence what is published - partly because there are many of them.’
    • ‘The directors can have no power and the members can have no power to direct the affairs of the company.’
    ability, capacity, capability, potential, potentiality, faculty, property, competence, competency
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  • 2The capacity or ability to direct or influence the behaviour of others or the course of events:

    ‘a political process that offers people power over their own lives’
    ‘she had me in her power’
    • ‘We have the power to influence events if only we are prepared to use it.’
    • ‘It is a role of no power, no influence, with no glamour or credit.’
    • ‘From the outset his power and influence were exaggerated by Coalition officials.’
    • ‘Money and property were the most important things in life, along with power of course.’
    • ‘Thus his power and influence grew, and he became captain of the British men's team, a position he set great store by.’
    • ‘Like most such people, he possesses a lot of influence and significant power.’
    • ‘As a leading shareholder, he wields power and influence himself, and has not been afraid to use it.’
    • ‘You have power, prestige and influence and can dictate your terms in professional matters.’
    • ‘This is a remarkable book, and a reminder of power's corrupting influence is always timely.’
    • ‘The power and influence of the local religious and minority leaders cannot be overstated.’
    • ‘Gold might bring power, wealth and influence, but it has wrecked as many lives as it has made.’
    • ‘He raises you up to the highest highs and drags you down to the lowest lows to exert his power over you.’
    • ‘The last few months have been particularly active and the Society is proving its power and influence.’
    • ‘This high level of monitoring enables managers to exert significant power over workers.’
    • ‘The single key shift that has to be made is that the union must grasp the rise in power and influence of the big clubs.’
    • ‘But within the company, his power and influence over Russell has been steadily growing.’
    influence, authority, weight, sway, control, say, ascendancy, dominance, advantage, pressure, edge, standing, prestige, rank
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    1. 2.1 Political or social authority or control, especially that exercised by a government:
      ‘the party had been in power for eight years’
      • ‘They can check each other, and the exercise of power over time requires them to bargain and cooperate.’
      • ‘Often such power is exercised more effectively in respect to foreign policy than domestic reforms.’
      • ‘This is a vast and authoritarian extension of state power and control.’
      • ‘Any government formed as a result of the present power struggle will further slash living standards.’
      • ‘On one side, it is a running advertisement for the inability of the political class to exercise power with purpose today.’
      • ‘You cannot change the way power is exercised in the world simply by exposing a handful of people.’
      • ‘The parliament that emerged from this vote has been as yet unable to form a government and exercises no power.’
      • ‘For six years his power depended on the social and political relations created by that upsurge.’
      • ‘When in power, local political parties made little difference to the lives of working class people.’
      • ‘But that was a revolution which brought the capitalist class to political power.’
      • ‘But it's also the nature of the Government to grab power over civic rights and are reluctant to return it after war.’
      • ‘He was an eloquent opponent of the exercise of arbitrary power by governments the world over.’
      • ‘In democracies those who exercise power gain their authority by the votes of the people.’
      • ‘The power struggle between the president and the parliament is likely to prevail.’
      • ‘Social status and political power would be nice, but being able to eat and live are more important.’
      • ‘At a certain point there was an attempt at a coup d' état in Spain and the socialists went into power.’
      • ‘They continue also to be read in the light of modern experiences of class conflict and political power struggles.’
      • ‘The question is, did she exercise her power under the constitution of the state.’
      • ‘They don't have the economic and social power of government and media figures, that's for sure.’
      • ‘One could argue that the insurance industry should be able to exercise the same power to control legal costs.’
      control, authority, influence, dominance, mastery, domination, rule, command, ascendancy, supremacy, dominion, sovereignty, jurisdiction, sway, weight, leverage, hold, grasp, say
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    2. 2.2 Authority that is given or delegated to a person or body:
      ‘police do not have the power to stop and search’
      • ‘Consent authorities will have enhanced powers to direct the hearing process.’
      • ‘The Government last year unveiled plans for police to have increased powers to move unauthorised travellers' camps.’
      • ‘Abuse of police power needs to be stamped out as soon as it starts.’
      • ‘The power is then delegated to the judicial registrars but not the registrars of the court.’
      • ‘The change is meant to spur directors to take back board powers ceded over the years to managers.’
      • ‘Will they be granted police powers, and if so, by what means?’
      • ‘However, there is now a far greater concentration of power in the statutory bodies than is the case in medicine.’
      • ‘They will soon find that they need the same powers as their English colleagues - direct control over budgets.’
      • ‘The Tribunal has no power to delegate to any other body the performance of the duties laid on it by the Act.’
      • ‘There are special police powers to arrest and search.’
      • ‘Residents say that the case has exposed a legal loophole because tough new police powers to move on travellers do not apply if they own plots of land.’
      • ‘Parliament could abdicate or divest itself of power to another body.’
      • ‘Now, this is a very important development, because the case directly challenges the president's wartime powers.’
      • ‘There has also been a history of judicial reticence when a power is delegated to an elected public body.’
      • ‘This body has power to suspend and dismiss public servants where there has been misconduct or a breach of duty.’
      • ‘In this legislation the Customs Service is looking to have increased powers to detain people at remote locations.’
      • ‘Since the release of the commission's report last month, debate has centred on what powers the new intelligence director should have.’
      • ‘In this rather uninspiring context it may be some consolation that the directors are taking powers to buy shares in the market.’
      • ‘What is a police state other than one in which police have strong powers not properly restrained by the courts?’
      • ‘This ground of challenge may be used where the claimant alleges that there has been an unlawful delegation of power.’
      authority, right, authorization, warrant, licence, prerogative, faculty
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    3. 2.3 The military strength of a state:
      ‘the sea power of Venice’
      • ‘The scientific and industrial revolutions vastly increased the wealth and the military power of the West.’
      • ‘He remains the only British statesman whose entire career depended on the control and use of military power.’
      • ‘Yet it is becoming increasingly clear that military power alone cannot uproot the insurgents.’
      • ‘The unprecedented combination of military power and media presence is intentional.’
      • ‘Unless military power is used with a clear moral clarity we set a precedent that may come back to haunt us and the world.’
      • ‘The world heroine had rendered her causes morally imperative and essential to national military power.’
      • ‘Being able to do the same things as men is viewed as power by many women who are looking only at military or economic power.’
      • ‘I do not believe that military power alone can bridge that gap between East and West.’
      • ‘Our military power as well as the area of the land is five times stronger.’
      • ‘I don't think there's any reason why liberal nice guys can't talk about military power.’
      • ‘His greatest strength was recognising the limitations of military power.’
      • ‘We may have or can acquire the military power to deal with two major regional conflicts.’
      • ‘Where have they called for using military power where you'd prefer not to use force?’
      • ‘On the contrary, there are grave dangers attached to over-dependence on military power.’
      • ‘Owing to this view, realists suggest that a state must rely upon its own military power to achieve its needs.’
      • ‘Their formative experiences were in the study or practice of military power.’
      • ‘It is not the first time that balance of military power has been so skewed.’
      • ‘There is no equality in the negotiations, and there certainly is no equality in military power.’
      • ‘It seems to me that we are using our military power as a means to avoid suffering the judgment of the world.’
      • ‘Yes, in conventional terms, the greater military power would win out, but not in guerilla warfare.’
    4. 2.4[count noun] A state or country, especially one viewed in terms of its international influence and military strength:
      ‘a great colonial power’
      • ‘Amid the muddle, Australia and New Zealand, the region's most influential powers, stood aghast as outrage followed outrage.’
      • ‘It arrested him and his followers in August under pressure from the international powers, which opposed his influence over the government.’
      • ‘After a long trend of consolidation by colonial powers, new countries are declaring their independence.’
      • ‘However, the Italians and Spanish were not too amused, seeing themselves as military powers in their own right.’
      • ‘The UK would be an especially interesting example of a country torn between two powers should a European military be built up.’
      • ‘The architecture of Eritrean towns reflects the nation's colonial past and the shifting influence of foreign powers.’
      • ‘It's about to join the ranks of the major powers within a few decades, if this rate of economic growth can be sustained.’
      • ‘Instead these have become fronts for big corporations and the military of the imperialistic powers in their drive for global domination.’
      • ‘Great powers rarely accept military defeat gracefully, especially when the loss isn't total enough to compel acceptance.’
      • ‘Relations between two of Asia's strongest powers are at their worst state in three decades.’
      • ‘The Industrial Revolution ensured military supremacy of the Western powers, whose colonial influence affected most of the Muslim world.’
      • ‘He warned that such behaviour set a bad precedent, which would allow other powers to take military action under the guise of humanitarian concerns but actually act for their own advantage.’
      • ‘It is widely believed that space exploration and development is restricted to the richer nations of the world, or the great military powers.’
      • ‘We believe that peoples and nations have the right to determine their own destiny, free from military coercion by great powers.’
      • ‘This could be a test of China's new strength and maturity as an international power.’
      • ‘And his critics largely do not oppose his view that Western powers should have the right to intervene militarily in troublesome states.’
      • ‘Belgium's influence as a colonial power did little to unite the two tribes.’
      • ‘Under those terms, the western powers turned over to Germany a portion of Czechoslovakia.’
      • ‘That has not stopped the Chinese from becoming one of the major economic and military powers in the world.’
      • ‘In addition a murky role is being played by certain neighbouring countries and international powers.’
      state, country, nation, world power, superpower
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    5. 2.5[count noun] A person or organization that is strong or influential within a particular context:
      ‘he was a power in the university’
      • ‘A number of business organisations appealed to political powers today to work together and form a cabinet as soon as possible.’
      • ‘Uber-designers often pave the way for their work by forging bonds with the business and political powers in an organization.’
      • ‘There will no longer be two political powers within the central government as some suggested.’
      • ‘Yes it helps connect people etc, but it also allows people to network who have criminal interests, and it allows corporate powers to extend their influence even further.’
      • ‘What people are really shouting out for today is that human interests need to take priority over the corporate and military powers.’
      • ‘Historically, the creation of new international orders has been dominated by major economic and military powers.’
    6. 2.6[count noun] A supernatural being, deity, or force:
      ‘the powers of darkness’
      • ‘Vera had been rather undecided on supreme powers and higher deities, leaving it to the theologians and philosophers to figure out.’
      • ‘The stories of heroism from the epics involved the use of supernatural or divine powers by the avtats or incarnations of gods and goddesses.’
      • ‘All religions have confused people by involving a power or a supernatural person known as god.’
      • ‘The force of these powers works in ways that are so woven into the fabric of life, they are hard to see.’
      • ‘Those who believe in a supernatural power know that there is a further existence after the shell they are in dies.’
      deity, god, goddess, mother goddess, divine being, celestial being, supreme being
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    7. 2.7powers (in traditional Christian angelology) the sixth-highest order of the ninefold celestial hierarchy.
      • ‘The heavenly powers greet you with sacred canticles and with joyous praise.’
    8. 2.8informal [as modifier] Denoting something associated with people who hold authority and influence, especially in the context of business or politics:
      ‘a red power tie’
    9. 2.9[with modifier] Used in the names of movements aiming to enhance the status of a specified group:
      ‘gay power’
      • ‘She's also justly proud of the girl power movement the band started.’
      • ‘We probably used the term gay power more than gay pride in that particular march.’
  • 3Physical strength and force exerted by something or someone:

    ‘the power of the storm’
    figurative ‘the lyrical power of his prose’
    • ‘For all their bluster and bombast, each display of physical power proves in the end to be ineffectual.’
    • ‘The feeling of the sheer power and force of the water could actually be felt through your entire body!’
    • ‘If Howe's try was one of delicate perfection, Smith's first of his brace was one of sheer power and physical presence.’
    • ‘The ship jarred suddenly, torn between its engines and the pulling power of the hole.’
    • ‘Yet by their physical power, they can impose their will without regard to the law.’
    • ‘The man was knocked somersaulting backwards on the ground from the force of my power.’
    • ‘It prevents the loss of bone density and it increases your muscle strength and power.’
    • ‘Their stand-out attribute for me is the physical strength and power of the players.’
    • ‘We think power is physical muscle power and we try harder to overpower and dominate others.’
    • ‘If the Englishwoman could develop a hurdling technique to match her speed and power she would really be a force to be reckoned with.’
    • ‘It's because you're holding a weapon that it evens up, it has nothing to do with gender or physical power.’
    • ‘This allows your body to be set up so your swing can move right through this area with power.’
    • ‘The emphasis throughout most of the closed season has been on building up extra strength and muscle power.’
    • ‘Still young, he towers above me now and I can sense he enjoys that reversal of physical power, the way he stoops to put his arm round me.’
    • ‘I've had a programme of rehab work to do and it's all aimed at getting the strength and power back into the muscles around my knee.’
    • ‘The little power she exerted wouldn't even cause the restraints to do more than to go taut.’
    strength, powerfulness, might, force, forcefulness, mightiness, weight, vigour, energy, intensity, potency
    forcefulness, powerfulness, potency, strength, force, eloquence, effectiveness, cogency, persuasiveness, impressiveness, authoritativeness
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    1. 3.1 Capacity or performance of an engine or other device:
      ‘a surge of power from the engine’
      • ‘This should be less of a problem at Monaco, where no cars use their full engine power.’
      • ‘Damage to the first stage compressor shows that the engine had no power in it, and had either been throttled right back or had no fuel.’
      • ‘For automobiles, the tax will depend on the engine power adjusted by a ratio based on the year of manufacture.’
      • ‘The engine is down on power compared to its rivals, and the chassis has problems, too.’
      • ‘We'll push it as long as we can before cutting the sails and going to engine power.’
      • ‘It has major engine power, plus all the technology of a finely tuned race car.’
      • ‘Just before midnight, half a dozen miles from Beaumaris, the engine lost power.’
      • ‘Everything was perfect and now there is a lot of power in the engine.’
      • ‘Once again we tried to lift off with engines roaring at full power, but no cigar.’
      • ‘He lost engine power after lap 15 and it was a long slow frustrating race for the Aussie.’
      • ‘There are also three slow speed corners to negotiate and four straight sections which reward engine power.’
      • ‘With a brisk performance, this engine had plenty of power at the high end.’
      • ‘The crew had reduced power on the left engine and re-circled for a safe landing.’
      • ‘Towards the end of the race I had a bit more oversteer and also the engine power was turned down as there was nothing more we could gain.’
      • ‘As a pilot he has experience of being struck by lightning and engines losing power.’
      • ‘The three straights of the Silverstone circuit reward engine power.’
      • ‘It's lighter; it has a better aerodynamic performance and it has more engine power.’
      • ‘I immediately felt a loss of engine power and saw some smoke, then my race was over.’
      • ‘It lost power in all its engines, but glided long enough to exit the ash cloud and get the engines working again.’
      • ‘The denser ones keep more sand out, but at the expense of engine power.’
      driving force, horsepower, hp, acceleration
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    2. 3.2[as modifier] Denoting a sports player, team, or style of play that makes use of power rather than finesse:
      ‘a power pitcher’
      • ‘He came out of nowhere last year to play the power game well and show amazing athleticism for his size.’
      • ‘He's not a power pitcher, but he can get his breaking stuff over no matter the count.’
      • ‘It was a terrific display of power rugby which we have not seen for a long time.’
      • ‘He averages just under a strikeout per inning and should develop into a top power pitcher.’
      • ‘This was truly a magnificent display of power rugby by the Newry pack and indeed a superb all round team effort.’
      • ‘She is working on her own power game - spending more time in the gym, and improving the physical side of her game.’
      • ‘His running is the reason why the Wildcats are relying more on power football and the option.’
      • ‘It's a code, a system of signs for getting on with business, for playing a power game.’
      • ‘They are power pitchers with at least three of these components on their fastball.’
      • ‘She serves her first ace of the match, but her game is still a pale imitation of the power tennis which saw her to the final.’
      • ‘That's pretty unusual for a power pitcher like that to have the feel to be able to do that.’
      • ‘The second and third sets were dominated by Bulgaria, the way they do best, with their power game.’
      • ‘That would neutralise the power player enough that the shorter-hitter could compete.’
      • ‘Despite his slight build, he is a power pitcher with a plus fastball and slider.’
      • ‘She is playing her last Wimbledon at the age of 34, but she cannot imagine the power players will last as long.’
      • ‘They took a step closer to the playoffs with a spectacular display of power football.’
      • ‘A power pitcher, he has been painting his fastball on the corners and mixing in a slider.’
      • ‘Badminton is a high impact power sport that contains a great deal of body movement, including jumping.’
      • ‘He can make himself more of a worry if he continues to progress as a power player.’
      • ‘He already had established himself as one of the best power players in the league.’
    3. 3.3 The magnifying capacity of a lens.
      • ‘Long-sightedness occurs when the eyeball is too short in relation to the focusing power of the cornea and lens.’
      • ‘The main ocular determinants of refraction are the focusing power of the cornea and crystalline lens and the length of the eye.’
      • ‘The refractive or focusing power of the cornea can be measured with a keratometer.’
      • ‘It was due to him that reflecting telescopes of sufficient accuracy and power to be useful in astronomy were developed.’
  • 4Energy that is produced by mechanical, electrical, or other means and used to operate a device:

    ‘generating power from waste’
    [as modifier] ‘power cables’
    • ‘Excess power is supplied externally, and heat from the system may be supplied in the form of hot water.’
    • ‘While the red lights confirm the supply of power from the post, the green push button is to check the fuse status.’
    • ‘Many of those built are running on English lines with power supplied through a third rail below the train.’
    • ‘It connects to your power supply and your normal power cable connects to it.’
    • ‘Wind power uses the kinetic energy from the wind to turn an electricity-generating turbine.’
    • ‘There is absolutely no form of pollution and no emissions and it generates power for the national grid.’
    • ‘If gas was found a small generator would be placed at the top of the pipe to supply power to the National Grid.’
    • ‘When its energy runs out it is simply rewound, producing an infinite supply of power at no cost.’
    • ‘This standard limits the level of harmonics in the current drawn by the power supply from the mains.’
    • ‘The current production is not enough to provide electrical power for export, experts said.’
    • ‘And how about the deepest south of England having its power supplies administered from Perth?’
    • ‘When the pattern of the call signal is for telephone, the main power supply is not turned on.’
    • ‘They are also actively involved in smuggling and looting high-voltage power cables.’
    • ‘It is also investigating ways to exploit the stocks of fuel set aside to operate the exchange standby power generators.’
    • ‘An electrician surreptitiously hooks up our hero to the main power supply.’
    • ‘The TV power is supplied through the decoder so you can't turn that off either.’
    • ‘The road was unlit in spite of the fact that power cables that supplied the town with electricity ran parallel to it.’
    • ‘The server has two separate power supplies and two power cables in case one fails or falls out.’
    • ‘Judging by the dimmed lighting, he had diverted all available power to the engines.’
    • ‘It was battery operated, and would not rely on a malfunction in the main power supply.’
    energy, electrical power, nuclear power, solar power, steam power, water power
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    1. 4.1 Electrical energy supplied to an area, building, etc.:
      ‘30,000 homes were left without power’
      • ‘The next day, two cable failures caused sections of the central area to lose power for up to 3 hours.’
      • ‘It is small and can only supply power for a town of 4,000, but the potential is there.’
      • ‘Customers will be supplied with power through the existing networks.’
      • ‘Can you give us any specifics on areas and when power and light will be in full force again?’
      • ‘We worked as quickly as we could to restore power with a back-up supply.’
      • ‘Much of the area we saw is due to be flooded when a huge new dam is opened to provide hydro electric power.’
      • ‘I finished up and fumbled outside back to my office and discovered that the whole building was without power.’
      • ‘A few years more of this honeymoon with free power will render many areas in Punjab and elsewhere barren.’
      • ‘There were some pockets in the area that were without power for varying periods.’
      • ‘This contrasts to the current situation where people are being left with no power or irregular supplies.’
      • ‘Cindy chose to stay with the house and she has no running water or power but supplies of food and water and help.’
      • ‘This camp was much more basic, no water, no toilets, and of course no power.’
      • ‘They probably died because we're in the middle of a heatwave and there was no power to their area.’
      • ‘So in the areas that do have power, you see home owners starting to fix up their homes again.’
      • ‘It is supplying power to homes in the village while engineers carry out work on a nearby sub-station.’
      • ‘He said the use of solar energy could help people in rural areas to have power for their schools and clinics.’
      • ‘The building is self-sufficient in power and water use and all wastewater is treated on site.’
      • ‘Nobody in the area had power at this point, and there was quite a bit of property damage.’
      • ‘There is a shortage in water supply and electric power resulting in frequent stoppages.’
      • ‘He rued that at this moment only four hours of power was being supplied.’
    2. 4.2[as modifier] Driven by electrical energy:
      ‘a power drill’
      • ‘Forget urban legends about dodgy geezers winding back car odometers using a power drill; that takes hours.’
      • ‘The battery module includes a battery pack for supplying power to the power tool.’
      • ‘Then there's the sound of buzzing: the rasp of a buzz-saw or scream of a power drill, perhaps.’
      • ‘In this process they learnt to use power drills, hack saws and soldering irons.’
      • ‘I found an attachment for our power screwdriver/drill thing that exactly fits a standard drum lug.’
      • ‘The power soft top goes down easily with a one-handed release and the press of a button.’
      • ‘It made him want to take a power drill to the other side of his head to release the pressure.’
  • 5Physics
    The rate of doing work, measured in watts or less frequently horse power.

    • ‘There are two 1.5 watt speakers built in and the unit draws a paltry 20 watts of power.’
    • ‘Spectral analysis provides a measure of power in the different frequency bands in the EEG.’
    • ‘Besides, the problem is more complicated than simply looking at power and frequency.’
    • ‘The original half watt of power will diminish to less than a billionth of a watt at the point of arrival.’
    • ‘It likes to trumpet its all out speed while ignoring the 130 watts of power and size of the beast.’
  • 6Mathematics
    The product obtained when a number is multiplied by itself a certain number of times:

    ‘2 to the power of 4 equals 16’
    • ‘He stated, without proof, that it would take the sum of at most nine cubes or 19 fourth powers to express any whole number.’
    • ‘The two patterns do not interfere until they meet at a row that is the next power of 2, and so on.’
    • ‘In 1915 Macaulay discovered the primary decomposition of an ideal in a polynomial ring, which is the analogue of the decomposition of a number into a product of prime powers.’
    • ‘We can use arithmetics with different bases, fractions, decimals, logarithms, powers, or simply words.’
    • ‘Hensel was interested in the exact power of a prime which divides the discriminant of an algebraic number field.’
  • 7a power ofdialect A large number or amount of something:

    ‘there's a power of difference between farming now and when I was a lad’
    • ‘To be sure there's a power of money made here.’
    • ‘There's a power of difference between a monologue and a one-man show.’
    • ‘There's a power of men been killed in this Hispaniola — a sight o' poor seamen dead and gone since you and me took ship to Bristol.’
    a great deal of, a lot of, much
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verb

  • 1[with object] Supply (a device) with mechanical or electrical energy:

    ‘the car is powered by a fuel-injected 3.0-litre engine’
    ‘a nuclear-powered submarine’
    • ‘The sails were removed in 1866 and the mill was then powered by a coal-fired steam engine.’
    • ‘The plants are irrigated with water pumped by the means of solar energy and their computer is also powered with wind energy.’
    • ‘Some fan diffusers are powered by both electricity and batteries making them quite portable.’
    • ‘For three days, the band jammed with the tribe, using recording equipment powered by car generators.’
    • ‘This essentially allows a microchip to run in two modes, depending on the amount of processing power required, which helps to extend the life of the batteries powering the device.’
    • ‘None of the studies in our review was adequately powered to detect rare but serious adverse outcomes.’
    • ‘At low speeds, the car uses only the electric motor powered by batteries.’
    • ‘But it could be 35 years before a substantial proportion of new vehicles are powered by hydrogen.’
    • ‘Chips are cut out of wafers, and are used to power electronics devices such as cell phones.’
    • ‘A single front roller, powered by a second motor, vibrates the concrete.’
    • ‘Because it is electrically powered, it is a zero emissions form of transportation.’
    • ‘Interior designers on cruise ships tend to opt for electrically powered systems, which they find more attractive.’
    • ‘The motor's battery is recharged by an electric generator powered by a gasoline engine.’
    • ‘Also, most factories are now powered by electricity rather than steam, so tall smokestacks are quite rare.’
    • ‘A particular growth area for the company continues to be the production of seal rings for turbo chargers in diesel powered engines.’
    • ‘You can use your customer loyalty to power your special moves that will hopefully result in victory.’
    • ‘‘In fact the school pays for the electricity that powers the machines, with no return,’ she adds.’
    • ‘When do you hope to have the fishing fleet powered by hydrogen?’
    • ‘You do not need to perspire at all as it is powered by battery.’
    • ‘Most of the studies reviewed were powered insufficiently to detect statistically significant outcome differences between the study groups.’
    electrified, charged, powered, connected, active, switched on
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    1. 1.1power something up/down Switch a device on or off:
      ‘the officer powered up the fighter's radar’
      • ‘I brought the ship to a stop and made sure that the offensive and defensive systems were powered down.’
      • ‘Back in the ‘good old days’ you got a key which you stuck in a keyhole and turned it to the right and the car was powered up and then started.’
      • ‘The boot sector is the portion of the hard disk that points the way to the operating system when a machine is powered up.’
      • ‘Whenever your phone is powered up, the network records which cell you are in.’
      • ‘The movements and procedures came back without a flutter and soon the ship was powered up and ready for takeoff.’
      • ‘It did rather lose its marbles towards the end and had turned malicious after one particularly thorough seeing to by a bloke who didn't know how to switch it on and powered it up at least nine times in a way that the manual expressly forbade.’
      • ‘The process of colour balancing takes many hours and much concentration and needs to be carried out while the monitors are powered up.’
      • ‘The successful consummation of the band's fourth release started way before the amps were powered up and the tape machines started to whirl.’
      • ‘As the built-up anxiety flushes away from your body, you stand there in glee - knowing that in, oh say 5 hours time, your little baby will be powered up and ready to go.’
      • ‘For some reason, my transmitter had trouble maintaining the connection until I powered the PC down, rather than just going through a restart.’
      • ‘The red LEDs indicate which PCs are powered up, and the green LEDs indicate which PC you are currently controlling.’
      • ‘The planes were powered down and the pilots descended to the ground.’
      • ‘And when the server was powered up and back online, many found that all their data, including addresses and saved messages, were lost.’
      • ‘This same situation holds true for almost any kind of device that can be removed or added while the computer is powered up.’
      • ‘If it's plugged in, the drive is powered up and spinning.’
      • ‘Set the replicator to ‘ham sandwich’ and power the device up, making sure to jokingly say ‘make it so!’’
      • ‘I quickly learned something about the PC architecture: even with a pull-up resistor, the port is in a low state from the moment the computer is powered up.’
      • ‘To power it up again, you must wrap the watch around an odd-shaped charger.’
      • ‘The entire procedure took only a few moments and they were sitting again flipping the switches at their stations to power them up.’
      • ‘He looked at his handheld device and saw it was powered up fully.’
      turn on, put on, flick on, activate, power up, start off, set going, get going, trigger off, set in motion, operate, initiate, actuate, boot up, initialize, energize
      turn off, shut off, flick off, stop working, cut, power down, stop, halt, deactivate
      View synonyms
  • 2[no object, with adverbial of direction] Move or travel with great speed or force:

    ‘he powered round a bend’
    • ‘Another fast moving dot on the radar turns out to be the Red Jet, powering past us from the Isle of Wight.’
    • ‘The Scot powered round the track in a time of one minute 0.711 seconds, the fastest time ever at sea level.’
    • ‘With ease, he powers past both, leaving the Olympic field in his wake.’
    • ‘She cut loose and struck a ferocious ball that powered into the back of the net and sent her side into a three point lead.’
    • ‘The Russian sixth seed powered past his 13 th-seeded opponent in 95 minutes.’
    • ‘Test your endurance and skill as you power round tracks for up to 24 hours.’
    • ‘Ullrich powered past Armstrong on the climb, cutting the American's overall lead to just 15 seconds.’
    • ‘He flew past Cunego and powered towards the finish for his first win of the season.’
    • ‘He then powered round the course to catch up only to repeat the mis-calculation at the finish.’
    • ‘The latter put in a terrific run along the back-straight to take control rounding the third bend before powering away to a most impressive three length success in 28.72.’
    • ‘He's rolled his sleeves up, and is powering forward with the ball at every opportunity.’
    • ‘Thrashing my way along, this guy powered past me, turbulence all round, power-boat wake.’
    • ‘The Texan was the world's one-lap maestro and looks as relaxed in the studio as he was powering round the track.’
    • ‘Halfway through race three there was an increase in wind strength which suited Dan Jackson who powered past the leaders to win.’
    • ‘On uphill putts you want to accelerate through the ball, like a race car powering up a hill.’
    • ‘It soon held the image of the Science Directorate ship powering away from Sentinel.’
    • ‘Crawford was slow out of his blocks but powered round the bend to lead Williams by a fraction as they entered the final 100m.’
    • ‘I powered past the bloaters, and ducked into the next canyon to find slack water again.’
    • ‘By the end of the first half, he was powering forward from centre-back to fetch balls from the sky in front of his half-forward line and lamping shots from 55 yards.’
    • ‘Having burnt round a track and powered through a forest, we get lost - amid the grassy glades of Surrey.’
    power, propel, move, push
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1[with object] Direct (something, especially a ball) with great force:
      ‘Nicholas powered a header into the net’
      • ‘Northampton then could only clear a MacKenzie free kick as far as Corden who powered a low shot through a forest of legs and into Rachubka's midriff.’
      • ‘Ramos bravely powered the ball goalwards with a header only for Stekelenburg to palm away to safety.’
      • ‘Locke powered the ball into the line, while Devine used his speed to run the ball to the outside.’

Phrases

  • do someone/thing a power of good

    • informal Be very beneficial to someone or something.

      • ‘The open air did me a power of good, except on the way back when the wind was in my face not at my back, when it just sliced right through me.’
      • ‘Make no mistake, having the Foreign Secretary and later the Leader of the House battling for the interests of racing did the sport a power of good.’
      • ‘We had a walk into town and it did us a power of good.’
      • ‘This does them a power of good, and they all enjoy it.’
      • ‘They were lucky to hold on, but the most important thing is this was another victory and as such will do their confidence a power of good.’
      • ‘I reckon a session or two with a successful cattle or sheep dealer would do them a power of good.’
      • ‘It still does you a power of good if you are applying for a job as a teacher and you know a politician on the appointments board.’
      • ‘The walk did me a power of good, though, and my legs didn't act up even to the last.’
      • ‘We moved here earlier than we'd planned and it's doing us a power of good.’
      • ‘Futilely smashing things up does you a power of good.’
  • in the power of

    • Under the control of:

      ‘what happens to them is in the power of the management’
      • ‘In the end, when they have gained their purpose, they lose all interest and leave their man in the power of fate with one more bill to pay.’
      • ‘I am limp in the power of the current that tugs beneath the waves.’
      • ‘We will go through these doors in the power of the Spirit, knowing that Jesus has gone through them all first.’
      • ‘Its forked root, seemingly resembling the human form, was thought to be in the power of dark earth spirits.’
      • ‘What is for sale is effectively a tenancy - the grant of which is actually in the power of the Crofters Commission.’
      have control over, have influence over, have under one's thumb, have at one's mercy, have in one's clutches, have in the palm of one's hand, have eating out of one's hand, have on a string, have one's claws into
      have in one's hip pocket
      have over a barrel
      View synonyms
  • more power to your elbow! (or to you etc.)

    • Used to encourage someone or express approval of their actions.

      • ‘‘Honey, if you can find someone who can sing over that orchestra and still wear that size 5 costume, more power to you!’’
      • ‘Police in Bolton are to crack down on this kind of behaviour, and more power to their elbow.’
  • power behind the throne

    • A person who exerts authority or influence without having formal status.

      • ‘His performance revealed how formidable he is as the power behind the throne and how inadequate as a public man.’
      • ‘Successive coaches were perceived as the being the powers behind the throne, but the club grew stronger after each departed.’
      • ‘Murray, still the power behind the throne with a 66% stake in the club, was a brash showman.’
      • ‘He is widely acknowledged as the real power behind the throne.’
      • ‘But there was always a suspicion that he remained the power behind the throne - and, on Friday, he admitted he was still the security adviser.’
      • ‘That of course gets the political tongues wagging in terms of this issue of how people rate his power and influence, and whether he is the power behind the throne.’
      • ‘But to say that such people are the power behind the throne in the current administration is absurdity of a high order.’
      • ‘It was far removed from the image of the power behind the throne, the profligate fashionista with a passion for dabbling in horoscopes to schedule presidential events.’
      • ‘The fact that the stars and bars is only an illusion for the real power behind the throne could ruin their psyche and crash their egos.’
      • ‘They are the great untapped source of power for aspiring politicians, the potential power behind the throne.’
  • the powers that be

    • The authorities:

      ‘the powers that be are assessing the situation’
      • ‘It would never have occurred to the powers that be to run and supervise the National Lottery from anywhere but London.’
      • ‘If the powers that be truly wanted the discrimination to end they could do it in one fell swoop.’
      • ‘That is to say, the implications of their vote will be written off by the powers that be.’
      • ‘People try and be free, and the powers that be basically overtake the movement.’
      • ‘He then accused the powers that be of failing to appreciate younger people's culture.’
      • ‘The powers that be, though, are the ones to attempt to right these wrongs but nothing is being done.’
      • ‘The powers that be will probably have their own side of the story to relate.’
      • ‘But each day I thank the powers that be that I live in a country where assistance is available.’
      • ‘Indeed, it is going to be a struggle bargaining with the powers that be to achieve our aspirations.’
      • ‘I thought we were being directed away from the original subject matter by the powers that be.’
      the authorities, the people in charge, the establishment, the government, the administration, the men in suits, the men in grey suits
      View synonyms

Origin

Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French poeir, from an alteration of Latin posse be able.

Pronunciation

power

/ˈpaʊə/