pow|er1 W1S1 [ˈpauə US paur] n
7 earning/purchasing/bargaining etc power
10 air/sea power
11¦(strong country)¦
12 be in/within somebody's power (to do something)
13 be beyond somebody's power (to do something)
14 be in somebody's power
15 do somebody a power of good
17 the powers that be
19 the powers of good/evil/darkness
20 a power in the land
21 the power behind the throne
22 power trip
[Date: 1200-1300; : Old French; Origin: poeir, from poeir 'to be able', from Latin potere; POTENT]
1.) ¦(CONTROL)¦[U]
the ability or right to control people or events
→↑powerful, powerless ↑powerless
We all felt that the chairman had too much power.
power over
People should have more power over the decisions that affect their lives.
the enormous economic power of the US
Workers had little political power .
the balance of power between management and unions
He was engaged in a bitter power struggle with the director (=a situation in which groups or leaders try to get control) .
Nothing will change until there are more women in positions of power.
power-hungry politicians
The bishops had almost absolute power .
the power wielded by unelected civil servants (=which they have and use)
the position of having political control of a country or government
in power
The dictator had been in power for seven years.
the party in power
come/rise to power
(=start having political control)
De Gaulle came to power in 1958.
They seized power in a military coup.
3.) ¦(INFLUENCE)¦[U]
the ability to influence people or give them strong feelings
→↑powerful, powerless ↑powerless power of
the power of his writing
the immense power of television
the pulling power (=ability to attract people or attention) of major celebrities
student/black/consumer etc power
(=the political or social influence a particular group has)
4.) ¦(RIGHT/AUTHORITY)¦ [U and C]
the right or authority to do something
The police have been given special powers to help them in the fight against terrorism.
power to do sth
The committee has the power to order an enquiry.
power of arrest/veto etc
The chairman has the power of veto on all decisions.
5.) ¦(ABILITY)¦ [U and C]
a natural or special ability to do something
After the accident she lost the power of speech (=ability to speak) .
powers of observation/concentration/persuasion
a writer's powers of observation
your mental powers
a stone with magical powers
6.) ¦(ENERGY)¦[U]
energy that can be used to make a machine work or to make electricity
nuclear/wind/solar etc power
Many people are opposed to the use of nuclear power.
the search for renewable sources of power
under power
The ship was able to leave port under its own power (=without help from another machine, ship etc) .
7.) earning/purchasing/bargaining etc power
the ability to earn money, buy things etc
Property in the city is beyond the purchasing power of most people.
your bargaining power in pay negotiations
8.) ¦(STRENGTH)¦[U]
the physical strength or effect of something
the power of a cheetah's long legs
The power of the explosion smashed windows across the street.
electricity that is used in houses, factories etc
Make sure the power is switched off first.
power cut/failure/outage
(=a short time when the electricity supply is not working)
Parts of the country have had power cuts because of the storms.
The power came back on.
10.) air/sea power
the number of planes or ships that a country has available to use in a war
a country that is strong and important and can influence events, or that has a lot of military strength
→↑powerful, powerless ↑powerless
Egypt is still a major power in the Middle East.
world power
(=a country that can influence events in different parts of the world)
12.) be in/within sb's power (to do sth)
if it is in someone's power to do something, they have the authority or ability to do it
I wish it was within my power to change the decision.
do everything/all in your power
The ambassador promised to do everything in his power to get the hostages released.
13.) be beyond sb's power (to do sth)
if it is beyond someone's power to do something, they do not have the authority or ability to do it
It's beyond the power of the court to make such a decision.
14.) be in sb's power
literary to be in a situation in which someone has complete control over you
15.) do sb a power of good
BrE informal to make someone feel more healthy, happy, and hopeful about the future
It looks as if your holiday has done you a power of good.
if a number is increased to the power of three, four, five etc, it is multiplied by itself three, four, five etc times
17.) the powers that be
the unknown people who have important positions of authority and power, and whose decisions affect your life
The powers that be don't want the media to get hold of the story.
18.) ¦(LENS)¦[U]
technical the ability of a ↑lens, for example in a pair of ↑glasses or a ↑microscope, to make things look bigger
19.) the powers of good/evil/darkness
unknown or magical forces that people believe can influence events in a good or evil way
20.) a power in the land
old-fashioned someone who has a lot of power and influence in a country
21.) the power behind the throne
someone who secretly controls and influences decisions made by the leader or government of a country, but who does not have an official government position
22.) power trip informal
if you are on a power trip, you are enjoying your power or authority in a way that other people think is unpleasant
power 2
power2 v
1.) [T usually passive]
to supply power to a vehicle or machine
It's powered by a Ferrari V12 engine.
2.) [I always + adverb/preposition]
to move with a lot of force and speed
His strong body powered through the water.
power up [power sth<=>up] phr v
to make a machine start working
Never move a computer while it is powered up.
power 3
power3 adj [only before noun]
1.) driven by an electric motor
power tools
power shower
2.) power breakfast/lunch etc informal
a meal at which people meet to discuss business
3.) power suit informal
clothes which you wear at work to make you look important or confident

Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.

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