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Power Definition


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Other Power Definition

[n] physical strength
[n] possession of controlling influence; "the deterrent power of nuclear weapons"; "the power of his love saved her"
[n] possession of the qualities (especially mental qualities) required to do something or get something done; "danger heightened his powers of discrimination"
[n] a mathematical notation indicating the number of times a quantity is multiplied by itself
[n] a state powerful enough to influence events throughout the world
[n] a very wealthy or powerful businessman; "an oil baron"
[n] one possessing or exercising power or influence or authority; "the mysterious presence of an evil power"; "may the force be with you"; "the forces of evil"
[n] (physics) the rate of doing work; measured in watts (= joules/second)
[n] (of a government or government official) holding an office means being in power; "being in office already gives a candidate a great advantage"; "during his first year in power"
[v] supply the force or power for the functioning of; "The gasoline powers the engines"

Misc. Definitions

\Pow"er\, n. (Zo["o]l.) Same as {Poor}, the fish.
\Pow"er\, 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. 2
9.
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.) (a) 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. Note: The English unit of power used most commonly is the horse power. See {Horse power}. (b) A mechanical agent; that from which useful mechanical energy is derived; as, water power; steam power; hand power, etc. (c) 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. Note: This use in mechanics, of power as a synonym for force, is improper and is becoming obsolete. (d) A machine acted upon by an animal, and serving as a motor to drive other machinery; as, a dog power. Note: 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. 1
1. (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. 1
2. (Law) An authority enabling a person to dispose of an interest vested either in himself or in another person; ownership by appointment. --Wharton. 1
3. Hence, vested authority to act in a given case; as, the business was referred to a committee with power. Note: 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 (d), note. {Power of attorney}. See under {Attorney}. {Power of a point} (relative to a given curve) (Geom.), the result of substituting the co["o]rdinates of any point in that expression which being put equal to zero forms the equation of the curve; as, x^{2} + y^{2} - 100 is the power of the point x, y, relative to the circle x^{2} + y^{2} - 100 = 0.

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