power: Meaning and Definition of


Pronunciation: (pou'ur), [key]
— n.
  1. ability to do or act; capability of doing or accomplishing something.
  2. political or national strength: the balance of power in Europe.
  3. great or marked ability to do or act; strength; might; force.
  4. the possession of control or command over others; authority; ascendancy: power over men's minds.
  5. political ascendancy or control in the government of a country, state, etc.: They attained power by overthrowing the legal government.
  6. legal ability, capacity, or authority: the power of attorney.
  7. delegated authority; authority granted to a person or persons in a particular office or capacity: the powers of the president.
  8. a document or written statement conferring legal authority.
  9. a person or thing that possesses or exercises authority or influence.
  10. a state or nation having international authority or influence: The great powers held an international conference.
  11. a military or naval force: The Spanish Armada was a mighty power.
  12. Often,a deity; divinity: the heavenly powers.
  13. an order of angels. Cf.(def. 1).
  14. a large number or amount: There's a power of good eatin' at the church social.
    1. work done or energy transferred per unit of time. Symbol: P
    2. the time rate of doing work.
  15. mechanical energy as distinguished from hand labor: a loom driven by power.
  16. a particular form of mechanical or physical energy: hydroelectric power.
  17. energy, force, or momentum: The door slammed shut, seemingly under its own power.
  18. The third power of 2 is 8.
    1. the product obtained by multiplying a quantity by itself one or more times:The third power of 2 is 8.
    2. (of a number x) a number whose logarithm is a times the logarithm of x (and is called the ath power of x). Symbolically, y =xa is a number that satisfies the equation log y = a log x.
    3. the exponent of an expression, as a in xa.
    4. Seecardinal number(def. 2).
    1. the magnifying capacity of a microscope, telescope, etc., expressed as the ratio of the diameter of the image to the diameter of the object. Cf.magnification(def. 2).
    2. the reciprocal of the focal length of a lens.
  19. those in supreme command; the authorities: The decision is in the hands of the powers that be.
  1. to supply with electricity or other means of power: Atomic energy powers the new submarines.
  2. to give power to; make powerful: An outstanding quarterback powered the team in its upset victory.
  3. to inspire; spur; sustain: A strong faith in divine goodness powers his life.
  4. (of a fuel, engine, or any source able to do work) to supply force to operate (a machine): An electric motor powers this drill.
  5. to drive or push by applying power: She powered the car expertly up the winding mountain road.
  6. to shut off.
  7. to turn on.
  1. operated or driven by a motor or electricity: a power mower; power tools.
  2. power-assisted: His new car has power brakes and power windows.
  3. conducting electricity: a power cable.
  4. expressing or exerting power; characteristic of those having authority or influence: to host a power lunch.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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