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pow•er



Pronunciation: (pou'ur), [key]
n.
1. ability to do or act; capability of doing or accomplishing something.
2. political or national strength: the balance of power in Europe.
3. great or marked ability to do or act; strength; might; force.
4. the possession of control or command over others; authority; ascendancy: power over men's minds.
5. political ascendancy or control in the government of a country, state, etc.: They attained power by overthrowing the legal government.
6. legal ability, capacity, or authority: the power of attorney.
7. delegated authority; authority granted to a person or persons in a particular office or capacity: the powers of the president.
8. a document or written statement conferring legal authority.
9. a person or thing that possesses or exercises authority or influence.
10. a state or nation having international authority or influence: The great powers held an international conference.
11. a military or naval force: The Spanish Armada was a mighty power.
12. Often, powers. a deity; divinity: the heavenly powers.
13. powers, Theol.an order of angels. Cf. angel (def. 1).
14. Dial.a large number or amount: There's a power of good eatin' at the church social.
15. Physics.
a. work done or energy transferred per unit of time. Symbol: P
b. the time rate of doing work.
16. mechanical energy as distinguished from hand labor: a loom driven by power.
17. a particular form of mechanical or physical energy: hydroelectric power.
18. energy, force, or momentum: The door slammed shut, seemingly under its own power.
19. Math.
a. the product obtained by multiplying a quantity by itself one or more times: The third power of 2 is 8.
b. (of a number x) a number whose logarithm is a times the logarithm of x (and is called the ath power of x). Symbolically, y =xa is a number that satisfies the equation log y = a log x.
c. the exponent of an expression, as a in xa.
d. See cardinal number (def. 2).
20. Optics.
a. the magnifying capacity of a microscope, telescope, etc., expressed as the ratio of the diameter of the image to the diameter of the object. Cf. magnification (def. 2).
b. the reciprocal of the focal length of a lens.
21. the powers that be, those in supreme command; the authorities: The decision is in the hands of the powers that be.

v.t.
1. to supply with electricity or other means of power: Atomic energy powers the new submarines.
2. to give power to; make powerful: An outstanding quarterback powered the team in its upset victory.
3. to inspire; spur; sustain: A strong faith in divine goodness powers his life.
4. (of a fuel, engine, or any source able to do work) to supply force to operate (a machine): An electric motor powers this drill.
5. to drive or push by applying power: She powered the car expertly up the winding mountain road.
6. power down, Computers.to shut off.
7. power up, Computers.to turn on.

adj.
1. operated or driven by a motor or electricity: a power mower; power tools.
2. power-assisted: His new car has power brakes and power windows.
3. conducting electricity: a power cable.
4. Informal.expressing or exerting power; characteristic of those having authority or influence: to host a power lunch.

Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.

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