Meaning of POWER in English

I. ˈpau̇(-ə)r noun

Usage: often attributive

Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French poer, pouer, from poer to be able, from Vulgar Latin * potēre, alteration of Latin posse — more at potent

Date: 13th century



(1) : ability to act or produce an effect

(2) : ability to get extra-base hits

(3) : capacity for being acted upon or undergoing an effect

b. : legal or official authority, capacity, or right


a. : possession of control, authority, or influence over others

b. : one having such power ; specifically : a sovereign state

c. : a controlling group : establishment — often used in the phrase the powers that be

d. archaic : a force of armed men

e. chiefly dialect : a large number or quantity


a. : physical might

b. : mental or moral efficacy

c. : political control or influence

4. plural : an order of angels — see celestial hierarchy


a. : the number of times as indicated by an exponent that a number occurs as a factor in a product

5 to the third power is 125

also : the product itself

8 is a power of 2

b. : cardinal number 2


a. : a source or means of supplying energy ; especially : electricity

b. : motive power

c. : the time rate at which work is done or energy emitted or transferred

7. : magnification 2b

8. : scope I,3

9. : the probability of rejecting the null hypothesis in a statistical test when a particular alternative hypothesis happens to be true


power , authority , jurisdiction , control , command , sway , dominion mean the right to govern or rule or determine. power implies possession of ability to wield force, permissive authority, or substantial influence

the power to mold public opinion

authority implies the granting of power for a specific purpose within specified limits

gave her attorney the authority to manage her estate

jurisdiction applies to official power exercised within prescribed limits

the bureau having jurisdiction over alcohol and firearms

control stresses the power to direct and restrain

you are responsible for the students under your control

command implies the power to make arbitrary decisions and compel obedience

the army officer in command

sway suggests the extent or scope of exercised power or influence

an empire that extended its sway over the known world

dominion stresses sovereign power or supreme authority

given dominion over all the animals


power , force , energy , strength , might mean the ability to exert effort. power may imply latent or exerted physical, mental, or spiritual ability to act or be acted upon

the awesome power of flowing water

force implies the actual effective exercise of power

used enough force to push the door open

energy applies to power expended or capable of being transformed into work

a worker with boundless energy

strength applies to the quality or property of a person or thing that makes possible the exertion of force or the withstanding of strain, pressure, or attack

use weight training to build your strength

might implies great or overwhelming power or strength

the belief that might makes right


Date: 1540

transitive verb

1. : to supply with power and especially motive power

2. : to give impetus to

intransitive verb

1. : to move about by means of motive power

2. : to move with great speed or force

III. adjective

Date: 1822

1. : operated mechanically or electrically rather than manually

a car with power locks

power tools

2. : of, relating to, or utilizing strength

plays a power game

also : powerful 1

a power critic

3. : of, relating to, or being a meal at which influential people discuss business or politics

a power lunch

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate English vocabulary.      Энциклопедический словарь английского языка Merriam Webster.