(of a machine, vehicle, etc.) having a specified fuel or prime mover: a gasoline-powered engine; an engine-powered pump.

Origin of powered

First recorded in 1875–80; power + -ed2
Related formsnon·pow·ered, adjectiveself-pow·ered, adjectiveun·der·pow·ered, adjective




ability to do or act; capability of doing or accomplishing something.
political or national strength: the balance of power in Europe.
great or marked ability to do or act; strength; might; force.
the possession of control or command over others; authority; ascendancy: power over men's minds.
political ascendancy or control in the government of a country, state, etc.: They attained power by overthrowing the legal government.
legal ability, capacity, or authority: the power of attorney.
delegated authority; authority granted to a person or persons in a particular office or capacity: the powers of the president.
a document or written statement conferring legal authority.
a person or thing that possesses or exercises authority or influence.
a state or nation having international authority or influence: The great powers held an international conference.
a military or naval force: The Spanish Armada was a mighty power.
Often powers. a deity; divinity: the heavenly powers.
powers, Theology. an order of angels.Compare angel(def 1).
Dialect. a large number or amount: There's a power of good eatin' at the church social.
  1. work done or energy transferred per unit of time. Symbol: P
  2. the time rate of doing work.
mechanical energy as distinguished from hand labor: a loom driven by power.
a particular form of mechanical or physical energy: hydroelectric power.
energy, force, or momentum: The door slammed shut, seemingly under its own power.
  1. the product obtained by multiplying a quantity by itself one or more times: The third power of 2 is 8.
  2. (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.
  3. the exponent of an expression, as a in xa.
  4. cardinal number(def 2).
  1. 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).
  2. the reciprocal of the focal length of a lens.

verb (used with object)

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


operated or driven by a motor or electricity: a power mower; power tools.
power-assisted: His new car has power brakes and power windows.
conducting electricity: a power cable.
Informal. expressing or exerting power; involving or characteristic of those having authority or influence, as in power lunch;power couple;power suit.

Verb Phrases

power down, Computers. to shut off.
power up, Computers. to turn on.

Origin of power

1250–1300; Middle English pouer(e), poer(e) < Anglo-French poueir, poer, noun use of infinitive: to be able < Vulgar Latin *potēre (replacing Latin posse to be able, have power). See potent1
Related formscoun·ter·pow·er, nounde-pow·er, verb (used with object)re·pow·er, verb

Synonyms for power

Synonym study

3. See strength.

Antonyms for power

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for powered

Contemporary Examples of powered

Historical Examples of powered

  • The Ardan missiles were powered for an acceleration of one hundred gravities.

    Masters of Space

    Edward Elmer Smith

  • Ours are powered like that, but we cannot operate them when the Venerian wind is blowing.


    Charles Louis Fontenay

  • Each was powered by one of the engines, transmitted to it by heavy rubber belts.


    Charles Louis Fontenay

  • That meant it was powered from the central power plant, wherever that was.

    The Cosmic Computer

    Henry Beam Piper

  • The best is flint sand, or the powered quartz sold for filters.

    Social Life

    Maud C. Cooke

British Dictionary definitions for powered



ability or capacity to do something
(often plural) a specific ability, capacity, or faculty
political, financial, social, etc, force or influence
control or dominion or a position of control, dominion, or authority
a state or other political entity with political, industrial, or military strength
a person who exercises control, influence, or authorityhe's a power in the state
a prerogative, privilege, or liberty
  1. legal authority to act, esp in a specified capacity, for another
  2. the document conferring such authority
  1. a military force
  2. military potential
  1. the value of a number or quantity raised to some exponent
  2. another name for exponent (def. 4)
statistics the probability of rejecting the null hypothesis in a test when it is false. The power of a test of a given null depends on the particular alternative hypothesis against which it is tested
physics engineering a measure of the rate of doing work expressed as the work done per unit time. It is measured in watts, horsepower, etcSymbol: P
  1. 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
  2. (as modifier)a power amplifier
the ability to perform work
  1. mechanical energy as opposed to manual labour
  2. (as modifier)a power mower
a particular form of energynuclear power
  1. 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
  2. another word for magnification
informal a large amount or quantitya power of good
(plural) the sixth of the nine orders into which the angels are traditionally divided in medieval angelology
in one's power (often foll by an infinitive) able or allowed (to)
in someone's power under the control or sway of someone
the powers that be the established authority or administration

verb (tr)

to give or provide power to
to fit (a machine) with a motor or engine
(intr) slang to travel with great speed or force

Word Origin for power

C13: from Anglo-Norman poer, from Vulgar Latin potēre (unattested), from Latin posse to be able
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for powered



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

powered in Medicine




The capacity to perform or act effectively.
Strength or force that is exerted or that is capable of being exerted.
The amount of work done per unit time.
A measure of the magnification of an optical instrument, such as a microscope or telescope.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

powered in Science



The source of energy used to operate a machine or other system.
The rate at which work is done, or energy expended, per unit time. Power is usually measured in watts (especially for electrical power) or horsepower (especially for mechanical power). For a path conducting electrical current, such as a component in an electric circuit, P = VI, where P is the power dissipated along the path, V is the voltage across the path, and I is the current through the path. Compare energy work.
Mathematics The number of times a number or expression is multiplied by itself, as shown by an exponent. Thus ten to the sixth power, or 106, equals one million.
A number that represents the magnification of an optical instrument, such as a microscope or telescope. A 500-power microscope can magnify an image to 500 times its original size.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

powered in Culture


In physics, the amount of energy put out or produced in a given amount of time. Power is often measured in watts or kilowatts.

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.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with powered


In addition to the idioms beginning with power

  • power behind the throne
  • powers that be, the

also see:

  • corridors of power
  • more power to someone
  • staying power
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.