- work done or energy transferred per unit of time. Symbol: P
- the time rate of doing work.
- the product obtained by multiplying a quantity by itself one or more times: The third power of 2 is 8.
- (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.
- the exponent of an expression, as a in xa.
- cardinal number(def 2).
- the magnifying capacity of a microscope, telescope, etc., expressed as the ratio of the diameter of the image to the diameter of the object.Compare magnification(def 2).
- the reciprocal of the focal length of a lens.
verb (used with object)
- powell, anthony,
- powell, colin,
- powell, john,
- powell, john wesley,
- powell, lake,
- power amplifier,
- power assist,
- power base,
- power behind the throne,
- power brake
Origin of power
- legal authority to act, esp in a specified capacity, for another
- the document conferring such authority
- a military force
- military potential
- the value of a number or quantity raised to some exponent
- another name for exponent (def. 4)
- the rate at which electrical energy is fed into or taken from a device or system. It is expressed, in a direct-current circuit, as the product of current and voltage and, in an alternating-current circuit, as the product of the effective values of the current and voltage and the cosine of the phase angle between them. It is measured in watts
- (as modifier)a power amplifier
- mechanical energy as opposed to manual labour
- (as modifier)a power mower
- a measure of the ability of a lens or optical system to magnify an object, equal to the reciprocal of the focal length. It is measured in dioptres
- another word for magnification
Word Origin for power
c.1300, "ability; ability to act or do; strength, vigor, might," especially in battle; "efficacy; control, mastery, lordship, dominion; legal power or authority; authorization; military force, an army," from Anglo-French pouair, Old French povoir, noun use of the infinitive, "to be able," earlier podir (9c.), from Vulgar Latin *potere, from Latin potis "powerful" (see potent).
Whatever some hypocritical ministers of government may say about it, power is the greatest of all pleasures. It seems to me that only love can beat it, and love is a happy illness that can't be picked up as easily as a Ministry. [Stendhal "de l'Amour," 1822]
Meaning "one who has power" is late 14c. Meaning "specific ability or capacity" is from early 15c. Meaning "a state or nation with regard to international authority or influence" [OED] is from 1726. Used for "a large number of" from 1660s. Meaning "energy available for work is from 1727. Sense of "electrical supply" is from 1896.
Phrase the powers that be is from Rom. xiii:1. As a statement wishing good luck, more power to (someone) is recorded from 1842. A power play in ice hockey so called by 1940. Power failure is from 1911; power steering from 1921.
"to supply with power," 1898, from power (n.). Earlier it meant "make powerful" (1530s). Related: Powered; powering.
In mathematics, a power is a number multiplied by itself the number of times signified by an exponent placed to the right and above it. Thus, 32, which means 3 × 3, is a power — the second power of three, or three squared, or nine. The expression 106, or ten to the sixth power, means 10 × 10 × 10 × 10 × 10 × 10, or one million.
In addition to the idioms beginning with power
- power behind the throne
- powers that be, the
- corridors of power
- more power to someone
- staying power