Definition of power noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈpaʊə(r)//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈpaʊər//
    The power industry, Mathematical terminology
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  1. 1  [uncountable] the ability to control people or things power (over somebody/something) The aim is to give people more power over their own lives. power (to do something) He has the power to make things very unpleasant for us. to have somebody in your power (= to be able to do what you like with somebody)
  2. 2  [uncountable] 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 CollocationsPoliticsPower create/​form/​be the leader of a political party gain/​take/​win/​lose/​regain control of Congress start/​spark/​lead/​be on the brink of a revolution be engaged/​locked in an internal power struggle lead/​form a rival/​breakaway faction seize/​take control of the government/​power bring down/​overthrow/​topple the government/​president/​regime abolish/​overthrow/​restore the monarchy establish/​install a military dictatorship/​a stable government be forced/​removed/​driven from office/​power resign/​step down as party leader/​an MP/​president/​prime minister enter/​retire from/​return to political lifePolitical debate spark/​provoke a heated/​hot/​intense/​lively debate engage in/​participate in/​contribute to (the) political/​public debate (on/​over something) get involved in/​feel excluded from the political process launch/​start/​lead/​spearhead a campaign/​movement join/​be linked with the peace/​anti-war/​feminist/​civil rights movement criticize/​speak out against/​challenge/​support the government lobby/​put pressure on the government (to do something) come under fire/​pressure from opposition partiesPolicy call for/​demand/​propose/​push for/​advocate democratic/​political/​land reform(s) formulate/​implement domestic economic policy change/​influence/​shape/​have an impact on government/​economic/​public policy be consistent with/​be in line with/​go against/​be opposed to government policy reform/​restructure/​modernize the tax system privatize/​improve/​deliver/​make cuts in public services invest (heavily) in/​spend something on schools/​education/​public services/(the) infrastructure nationalize the banks/​the oil industry promise/​propose/​deliver/​give ($80 billion in/​significant/​substantial/​massive) tax cuts a/​the budget is approved/ (especially North American English) passed by parliament/​congressMaking laws have a majority in/​have seats in Parliament/​Congress/​the Senate propose/​sponsor a bill/​legislation/​a resolution introduce/​bring in/​draw up/​draft/​adopt/​pass a bill/​a law/​legislation/​measures amend/​repeal an act/​a law/​legislation veto/​vote against/​oppose a bill/​legislation/​a measure/​a proposal/​a resolution get/​require/​be decided by a majority vote see also balance of power
  3. ability
  4. 3  [uncountable] (in people) the ability or opportunity to do something 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.
  5. 4  [uncountable] (also powers [plural]) 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.
  6. 5powers [plural] 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.
  7. authority
  8. 6  [uncountable, countable, usually plural] the right or authority of a person or group to do something power (to do something) The Secretary of State has the power to approve the proposals. The powers of the police must be clearly defined. power (of something) The president has the power of veto over all new legislation. Police in riot gear used their powers under the Public Order Act to move on 300 protesters. see also power of attorney
  9. country
  10. 7  [countable] a country with a lot of influence in world affairs, or with great military strength world powers an allied/enemy power see also superpower
  11. influence
  12. 8  [uncountable] (in compounds) strength or influence in a particular area of activity economic power air/sea power (= military strength in the air/at sea) purchasing power Their efforts to exercise collective bargaining power against multinational companies have failed. see also hard power, soft power
  13. 9  [uncountable] the influence of a particular thing or group within society the power of the media parent power
  14. energy
  15. 10[uncountable] the strength or energy contained in something The ship was helpless against the power of the storm. It was a performance of great power. They were impressed by the power of her arguments. see also firepower, staying power
  16. 11[uncountable] physical strength used in action; physical strength that somebody possesses and might use He hit the ball with as much power as he could. the sheer physical power of the man
  17. 12  [uncountable] energy that can be collected and used to operate a machine, to make electricity, etc. nuclear/wind/solar power engine power Wordfinderbattery, charge, conduct, connect, electricity, generate, insulate, power, switch, wire see also horsepower See related entries: The power industry
  18. electricity
  19. 13  [uncountable] the public supply of electricity They've switched off the power. a power failure
  20. mathematics
  21. 14 [countable, usually singular] the number of times that an amount is to be multiplied by itself 4 to the power of 3 is 43 (= 4 × 4 × 4 = 64). See related entries: Mathematical terminology
  22. of lens
  23. 15[uncountable] the amount by which a lens can make objects appear larger the power of a microscope/telescope
  24. good/evil spirit
  25. 16[countable] a good or evil spirit that controls the lives of others the powers of darkness (= the forces of evil) She believed in the existence of a benevolent power.
  26. Word OriginMiddle English: from Anglo-Norman French poeir, from an alteration of Latin posse ‘be able’.Extra examples Don’t underestimate my powers of persuasion. Having served in four governments, he has the greatest staying power of any politician today. He did everything in his power to find us somewhere to live. He sits on the board but has no executive power. He wants to change the world through the power of prayer. I lost my power of speech for a while after the accident. I’m afraid it’s not within my power to help you. In 1946 Dalí was at the peak of his powers. People say that the First Lady is the power behind the throne. Power tools make many jobs so much easier. Religion is rapidly losing its power to shape our behaviour. She exudes star power whenever she’s on screen. She was in the elevator when the power went off. Some states delegate police power to municipalities. The Crown prince assumed power in his father’s place. The company was too small to hold two such power-hungry men. The court has no power to order a psychiatric examination of the child’s parents. The emperor held no real power. The generator supplies power for lighting, The government has limited legal powers over television. The new law delegates many of these powers to school governors. The party’s power base is in the industrial north of the country. The plane was still climbing at full power. The real legislative power still rests with the lower chamber. The transmitter is operating on reduced power. The war brought about a shift in the balance of power. They believe he has supernatural powers. They fell from power in 1992. They held power for 18 years. They held us in their power. They use these streams to generate power for the mill. This wheel provides the power to the cutting machine. When did this government come to power? Who will get the upper hand in this power struggle? Wind power is used to drive the machinery. a task still beyond any computer’s power a tribute to his powers as a teacher an increase in Britain’s air power belief in a higher power certain powers that were granted to the government her powers of observation major European powers such as France and Germany supplying power for the grinding process the destructive power of a hurricane the father’s position of power and influence in the home the healing power of sleep the party in power the raw power of their music the transfer of power from a military to a civilian government weapons with enormous fire power Air power decided the battle in favour of the Allies. He has the power to make life very difficult for us. He seized power in a military coup. He talked about the enormous power of the mass media. He transformed a backward country into a world power. Increased trade union bargaining power led to higher wage settlements. It is not within my power to help you. It was the beginning of a power struggle between rival factions within the party. She was determined to go through with her plan, now that she had him in her power. Sufferers of the disease have failing mental powers and poor memories. The Emperor had absolute power over all his subjects. The cost of solar power needs to fall before it makes an impact on the energy market. The country’s dominance was assured by its technological and military power. The government promised greater opportunities for parent power. The influence of the former colonial power is still very much in evidence. There seems to have been a power failure. They’ve switched off the power. Those aged over 55 now have a purchasing power of more than £30 billion annually. To go higher the pilot increases the engine power. Values are distorted by the power of advertising. electrical/​nuclear/​atomic/​solar/​wind/​tidal energy/​power interruptions in the power supply to generate/​produce/​provide/​supply/​use/​harness energy/​powerIdioms (sometimes humorous) the higher levels of government, where important decisions are made
    do somebody a power of good
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    (old-fashioned, informal) to be very good for somebody’s physical or mental health A break would do us all a power of good.
    more power to somebody’s elbow
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    (old-fashioned, British English, informal) used to express support or encouragement for somebody to do something
    the (real) power behind the throne
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    the person who really controls an organization, a country, etc. in contrast to the person who is legally in charge The president’s wife was suspected of being the real power behind the throne.
    (often ironic) the people who control an organization, a country, etc. The powers that be are still trying to decide what should be done.
    sweep (somebody) to power
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    to win an election by a large number of votes; to make somebody win an election with a large number of votes
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: power