/ ˈpaʊə(r); NAmE / noun , verb
[ U ] power (over sb/sth) | power (to do sth) the ability to control people or things :
The aim is to give people more power over their own lives.
He has the power to make things very unpleasant for us.
to have sb in your power (= to be able to do what you like with sb)
[ U ] political control of a country or an area :
to take / seize / lose power
The present regime has been in power for two years.
The party came to power at the last election.
They are hoping to return to power.
a power struggle between rival factions within the party
—see also balance of power
[ U ] ( in people ) the ability or opportunity to do sth :
It is not within my power (= I am unable or not in a position) to help you.
I will do everything in my power to help you.
[ U ] (also powers [pl.] ) a particular ability of the body or mind :
He had lost the power of speech.
The drug may affect your powers of concentration.
He had to use all his powers of persuasion.
powers [ pl. ] all the abilities of a person's body or mind :
At 26, he is at the height of his powers and ranked fourth in the world.
[ U , C , usually pl. ] power (to do sth) the right or authority of a person or group to do sth :
The Secretary of State has the power to approve the proposals.
The powers of the police must be clearly defined.
The president has the power of veto over all new legislation.
—see also power of attorney
[ C ] a country with a lot of influence in world affairs, or with great military strength :
an allied / enemy power
—see also superpower
[ U ] (in compounds) strength or influence in a particular area of activity :
air / sea power (= military strength in the air / at sea)
[ U ] the influence of a particular thing or group within society :
the power of the media
[ U ] the strength or energy contained in sth :
The ship was helpless against the power of the storm.
It was a performance of great power.
—see also firepower , staying power
[ U ] energy that can be collected and used to operate a machine, to make electricity, etc. :
nuclear / wind / solar power
—see also horsepower
[ U ] the public supply of electricity :
They've switched off the power.
a power failure
[ C , usually sing. ] the number of times that an amount is to be multiplied by itself :
4 to the power of 3 is 4 3 (= 4 × 4 × 4 = 64).
[ U ] the amount by which a lens can make objects appear larger :
the power of a microscope / telescope
GOOD / EVIL SPIRIT
[ C ] a good or evil spirit that controls the lives of others :
the powers of darkness (= the forces of evil)
- do sb a power of good
- more power to sb's elbow
- the (real) power behind the throne
- the powers that be
—more at corridor , sweep verb
[ vn ] [ usually passive ] to supply a machine or vehicle with the energy that makes it work :
The aircraft is powered by a jet engine.
[+ adv. / prep. ] to move or move sth very quickly and with great power in a particular direction :
[ v ]
He powered through the water.
[ vn ]
She powered her way into the lead.
He powered his header past the goalie.
- power sth up
Middle English : from Anglo-Norman French poeir , from an alteration of Latin posse be able.