1 noun
1 CONTROL (U) the ability or right to control people or events: We all felt that the chairman had too much power. | He was motivated by greed, envy, and the lust for power.
(+ over): She has a lot of power over the people in her team. | power struggle (=a situation in which groups or leaders try to defeat each other and get complete control): engaged in a bitter power struggle against Chairman Sir George Scott
2 CONTROL OF A COUNTRY (U) the position of having political control of a country or government: be in power: The dictator had been in power for seven years. | come/rise to power (=start having political control): De Gaulle came to power in 1958. | return to power: The Labour Party returned to power after 13 years. | get into power: If the Social Democrats got into power, they would change the whole system of local government. | take/sieze power: The Communists seized power in 1962. | lose power: Left-wing parties lost power in several European countries last year.
3 INFLUENCE (U) the ability to influence people or give them strong feelings
(+ of): We were stunned by the power of his speech. | the immense power of television
4 RIGHT/AUTHORITY (C, U) the right or authority to do something: The police have been given special powers to help them in the fight against terrorism. | the power to do sth: She was the one who had the power to hire or fire people. | the power of: The chairman has the power of veto on all decisions.
5 ABILITY (C, U) a natural or special ability to do something
(+ of): After the accident she lost the power of speech. | the power to do sth: Local people believe that the plant has the power to cure all kinds of ailments.
6 earning/purchasing/bargaining power the ability to earn money, buy things etc: Average earning power has shot up by more than 50%.
7 student power/black power/parent power etc the political or social influence that an organized group has: another victory for student power
8 STRENGTH the strength of something such as an explosion, animal or natural force and its ability to move or destroy things: the sheer power and majesty of the elephant | the power of the explosion
9 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. | under its own power (=without help from another machine, ship etc): The cruiser was able to leave port under its own power. | lose/run out of power: It keeps losing power when I take a sharp bend.
10 ELECTRICITY (U) electricity that is used in houses, factories etc: She plugged the machine in and switched the power on. | Power is provided by a small 9 volt battery. | 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.
11 STRONG COUNTRY (C) a country that is strong and important, or has a lot of military strength: Egypt is still an important power in the Middle East. | world power (=a very important country that can influence events in different parts of the world)
12 air/sea power ships or aircraft that help an army in the air or on the sea: The outcome will be decided by air power.
13 be in sb's power to be in a situation in which someone has complete control over you
14 be in 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: It is not in my power to tell you the results of the exam.
15 be beyond/outside 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: I am afraid it is beyond my power to do what you are asking.
16 do everything in your power to do everything that you are able or allowed to do: The ambassador promised to do everything in his power to get the hostages released.
17 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.
18 the powers of good/evil spirits or magical forces that are believed to influence events in a good or evil way
19 MATHEMATICS (C) if a number is increased to the power of three, four, five etc, it is multiplied by itself three, four, five etc times
20 high-powered/low-powered etc having a motor that is very powerful, not very powerful etc: irresponsible young men in high-powered sports cars
21 a power in the land old-fashioned someone who has a lot of power and influence in a country
22 the power behind the throne someone who is able to secretly control and influence decisions made by the leader or government of a country, but does not have an official government position themselves
23 the powers that be informal the unknown people who have important positions of authority and power, and whose decisions affect your life: The powers that be have decided that smoking is a Bad Idea.
24 be on a power trip informal to be enjoying the new power or authority that you have been given, in a way that other people find unpleasant
—see also: staying power, balance of power, high­powered 2 verb
1 (transitive usually passive) to supply power to a vehicle or machine: The motor is powered by a solar battery.
2 (intransitive + adv/prep) to move powerfully and quickly
(+ through/up/down): His strong body powered through the water.
3 battery-powered/nuclear-powered etc working or moving by means of power from a battery, nuclear energy etc: an atomic-powered ship
—see also: high­powered 3 adjective
1 driven by a motor: power tools
2 informal showing that you are important in a business organization: a power lunch

Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.

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