n. & v.
1. the ability to do or act (will do all in my power; has the power to change colour).
2 a particular faculty of body or mind (lost the power of speech; powers of persuasion).
3 a government, influence, or authority. b political or social ascendancy or control (the party in power; Black Power).
4 authorization; delegated authority (power of attorney; police powers).
5 (often foll. by over) personal ascendancy.
6 an influential person, group, or organization (the press is a power in the land).
7 a military strength. b a state having international influence, esp. based on military strength (the leading powers).
8 vigour, energy.
9 an active property or function (has a high heating power).
10 colloq. a large number or amount (has done me a power of good).
11 the capacity for exerting mechanical force or doing work (horsepower).
12 mechanical or electrical energy as distinct from hand-labour (often attrib.: power tools; power steering).
13 a a public supply of (esp. electrical) energy. b a particular source or form of energy (hydroelectric power).
14 a mechanical force applied e.g. by means of a lever.
15 Physics the rate of energy output.
16 the product obtained when a number is multiplied by itself a certain number of times (2 to the power of 3 8).
17 the magnifying capacity of a lens.
18 a a deity. b (in pl.) the sixth order of the ninefold celestial hierarchy.
1. supply with mechanical or electrical energy.
2 (foll. by up, down) increase or decrease the power supplied to (a device); switch on or off.
Phrases and idioms:
in the power of under the control of. more power to your elbow! an expression of encouragement or approval. power behind the throne a person who asserts authority or influence without having formal status. power block a group of nations constituting an international political force. power cut a temporary withdrawal or failure of an electric power supply. power-dive n. a steep dive of an aircraft with the engines providing thrust.
--v.intr. perform a power-dive. power line a conductor supplying electrical power, esp. one supported by pylons or poles. power of attorney see ATTORNEY. power pack
1. a unit for supplying power.
2 the equipment for converting an alternating current (from the mains) to a direct current at a different (usu. lower) voltage.
1. tactics involving the concentration of players at a particular point.
2 similar tactics in business, politics, etc., involving a concentration of resources, effort, etc. power point Brit. a socket in a wall etc. for connecting an electrical device to the mains. power politics political action based on power or influence. power-sharing a policy agreed between parties or within a coalition to share responsibility for decision-making and political action. power station a building where electrical power is generated for distribution. the powers that be those in authority (Rom. 13:1). power stroke the stroke of an internal-combustion engine, in which the piston is moved downward by the expansion of gases.
powered adj. (also in comb.).
Etymology: ME & AF poer etc., OF poeir ult. f. L posse be able