Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of Power
Meaning of power by Wiktionary Dictionary



    From power .


    Power ( plural: Powers )

    1. A button of a computer, a video game console, or similar device, that when pressed, causes the device to be either shut down or powered up .

Definition of power by GCIDE Dictionary


  1. Power n. ( Zool. ) Same as Poor, the fish.

  2. Power, n. [OE. pouer, poer, OF. poeir, pooir, F. pouvoir, n. & v., fr. LL. potere, for L. posse, potesse, to be able, to have power. See Possible, Potent, and cf. Posse comitatus.]
    1. Ability to act, regarded as latent or inherent; the faculty of doing or performing something; capacity for action or performance; capability of producing an effect, whether physical or moral: potency; might; as, “a man of great power; the power of capillary attraction; money gives power.” “One next himself in power, and next in crime.” Milton.

    2. Ability, regarded as put forth or exerted; strength, force, or energy in action; as, “the power of steam in moving an engine; the power of truth, or of argument, in producing conviction; the power of enthusiasm.” “The power of fancy.” Shak.

    3. Capacity of undergoing or suffering; fitness to be acted upon; susceptibility; -- called also passive power; as, “great power of endurance”.

    Power, then, is active and passive; faculty is active power or capacity; capacity is passive power. Sir W. Hamilton.

    4. The exercise of a faculty; the employment of strength; the exercise of any kind of control; influence; dominion; sway; command; government.

    Power is no blessing in itself but when it is employed to protect the innocent. Swift.

    5. The agent exercising an ability to act; an individual invested with authority; an institution, or government, which exercises control; as, “the great powers of Europe”; hence, often, a superhuman agent; a spirit; a divinity. “The powers of darkness.” Milton.

    And the powers of the heavens shall be shaken. Matt. xxiv. 29.

    6. A military or naval force; an army or navy; a great host. Spenser.

    Never such a power . . .

    Was levied in the body of a land. Shak.

    7. A large quantity; a great number; as, “a power o good things”. [Colloq.] Richardson.

    8. ( Mech. ) The rate at which mechanical energy is exerted or mechanical work performed, as by an engine or other machine, or an animal, working continuously; as, “an engine of twenty horse power”.

    ☞ The English unit of power used most commonly is the horse power. See Horse power.

    A mechanical agent; that from which useful mechanical energy is derived; as, “water power; steam power; hand power, etc.” Applied force; force producing motion or pressure; as, the power applied at one and of a lever to lift a weight at the other end.

    ☞ This use in mechanics, of power as a synonym for force, is improper and is becoming obsolete.

    A machine acted upon by an animal, and serving as a motor to drive other machinery; as, “a dog power”.

    ☞ Power is used adjectively, denoting, driven, or adapted to be driven, by machinery, and not actuated directly by the hand or foot; as, a power lathe; a power loom; a power press.

    9. ( Math. ) The product arising from the multiplication of a number into itself; as, “a square is the second power, and a cube is third power, of a number”.

    10. ( Metaph. ) Mental or moral ability to act; one of the faculties which are possessed by the mind or soul; as, “the power of thinking, reasoning, judging, willing, fearing, hoping, etc.” I. Watts.

    The guiltiness of my mind, the sudden surprise of my powers, drove the grossness . . . into a received belief. Shak.

    11. ( Optics ) The degree to which a lens, mirror, or any optical instrument, magnifies; in the telescope, and usually in the microscope, the number of times it multiplies, or augments, the apparent diameter of an object; sometimes, in microscopes, the number of times it multiplies the apparent surface.

    12. ( Law ) An authority enabling a person to dispose of an interest vested either in himself or in another person; ownership by appointment. Wharton.

    13. Hence, vested authority to act in a given case; as, “the business was referred to a committee with power”.

    ☞ Power may be predicated of inanimate agents, like the winds and waves, electricity and magnetism, gravitation, etc., or of animal and intelligent beings; and when predicated of these beings, it may indicate physical, mental, or moral ability or capacity.

    Mechanical powers. See under Mechanical. -- Power loom, or Power press. See Def. 8 note. -- Power of attorney. See under Attorney. -- Power of a point ( relative to a given curve ) ( Geom. ), the result of substituting the coordinates of any point in that expression which being put equal to zero forms the equation of the curve; as, x2 + y2 - 100 is the power of the point x, y, relative to the circle x2 + y2 - 100 = 0.