I. power pow‧er 1 [ˈpaʊə ǁ paʊr] noun
1. [uncountable] the ability or right to control people, organizations, events etc:

• I'm against giving too much power to one man.

power over

• Congress's power over federal spending

• He plans to resign after losing a power struggle within the firm.

2. [countable, uncountable] LAW the right or authority to do something:

• The lawmakers approved the President's demands for special powers to implement change.

• He had almost unlimited executive powers to restructure the organization as he saw fit.

• The Board of Trade invoked emergency powers (= special powers used to deal with an unusual dangerous situation ) to stop an attempt to limit the soybean market.

ˈbanking ˌpower [countable] BANKING LAW
the legal right given to banks to perform certain activities that other types of business organizations cannot perform:

• The Fed favors capital-strong institutions in awarding increased banking powers.

ˈborrowing ˌpowers [plural] FINANCE
powers that are given to the directors of a company by its shareholders to borrow money:

• The company's shareholders have recently agreed to extend its borrowing powers.

ˈunderwriting ˌpower [uncountable]
FINANCE LAW the legal right of some financial institutions to underwrite (= arrange to sell) bonds, shares etc:

• With underwriting power, we get a large share of the profits.

3. [countable] a country or organization that is strong and has a lot of influence:

• The US is still the world's leading economic power.

• a globalfinancial power

• a war between film producers and some of cable TV's biggest powers

4. [uncountable] an ability to do something, influence a situation etc:

• the incredible power of advertising

• the job-generating power of small firms

ˈbargaining ˌpower [uncountable] COMMERCE
power that one person or group has during discussions to get an agreement in their favour:

• This new law gives management tremendous bargaining power.

ˈbuyer ˌpower [uncountable] COMMERCE
the relative strength of buyers in relation to sellers:

• Centralised buying by different departments means that the industrial marketer may be faced with an increase in buyer power.

ˈbuying ˌpower
1. [uncountable] COMMERCE the ability of a person or organization to buy things, depending on the amount of money they have available; =PURCHASING POWER, SPENDING POWER:

• Unemployment and low wages will mean low local buying power.

2. [uncountable] FINANCE the amount that a unit of a particular currency buys at a particular time; = PURCHASING POWER
ˈearning ˌpower [uncountable] COMMERCE
the ability of a person to earn money, or of a business or an investment to make a profit:

• the market for men 25 to 45 years old, with high earning power

• This year's results aren't typical of the company's true earning power.

ˈgrey ˌpower , gray power [uncountable] JOURNALISM
the political and economic power of older people:

• Politicians are only just becoming aware of the impact that grey power might have on the next election.

ˈmarket ˌpower [uncountable] COMMERCE
the relative strength that a seller in a market has to set prices etc:

• We prevent abuse of market power through anti-trust and anti-monopoly laws.

ˈpester ˌpower
[uncountable] informal MARKETING the ability that children have to make their parents buy things by asking for them again and again:

• Smart companies are trying to harness pester power as kids increasingly influence their parents' brand choices.

ˈpricing ˌpower [uncountable] ECONOMICS
the effect that a change in the price of a company's product has on the demand for that product:

• The steady increase in US imports means that lower cost goods continue to enter the country, undermining the pricing power of domestic businesses.

ˈpurchasing ˌpower
1. [uncountable] COMMERCE the ability of a person or organization to buy things, depending on the amount of money they have available; =BUYING POWER, SPENDING POWER:

• Inflation is also caused by too much purchasing power in the economy.

2. [uncountable] FINANCE the amount that a unit of a particular currency buys at a particular time; = BUYING POWER:

• The purchasing power of the dollar has declined.

ˈspending ˌpower [uncountable] COMMERCE FINANCE
another name for purchasing power:

• The lowering of interest rates increased consumer spending power.

5. [uncountable] energy that is used to make electricity, electricity itself, and the industries that produce it:

• Turn the power on with the switch.

• doubts about the safety ofnuclear power

• renewable energy, such as wind and solar power (= power from the sun's energy )

6. [uncountable] the ability of a machine to perform work:

• Supercomputers use multiple processors to vastly increase computing power and speed.

  [m0] II. power power 2 verb
1. [transitive] to supply power to a vehicle or machine:

• The car will be powered by electricity.

2. gas-powered/​nuclear-powered etc working by means of gas, Nuclear Energy etc:

• gas-powered turbines

power up phrasal verb
1. [transitive] power something ↔ up if you power up a computer, you start it
2. [intransitive] JOURNALISM FINANCE if the price of shares etc powers up, it rises very fast:

• The three-month price for zinc powered up to $1675 a tonne.

  [m0] III. power power 3 adjective [only before a noun]
1. driven by a motor:

• power tools

2. informal showing that you are an important person in a business organization:

• If you think you can have a power career and a fulfilling family life, you're crazy.

• the director's power lunches with movie moguls in trendy restaurants

• a power nap (= a short sleep during the day that allows you to work more effectively later )

* * *

power UK US /ˈpaʊər/ noun
[U] the ability to control or influence people, organizations, events, etc.: »

Shareholder power is a crucial part of how any capitalist society works.

power over sb/sth »

Most CEOs have a great deal of power over the boards of directors.

the power to do sth »

Oil prices still have the power to hurt the world economy.


The bitter power struggle at the top of the company had a negative effect on the value of its shares.


The balance of power in global markets is beginning to shift.

be in power »

The last government was in power for over a decade.

[C or U] an official or legal authority to do something: have the power to do sth »

The regulator has the power to block a deal that would be damaging to consumers.

emergency/executive/special powers »

The Prime Minister was set to invoke emergency powers to handle the distribution of petrol during the crisis.

[C] a group, country, or organization that has control over others, especially because of financial or military strength: a world/global power »

China is fast developing into a major global power.


a military/political power


a corporate/economic/financial power

[U] the strength or influence of something in a particular market or activity: »

We are seeing a shift in economic power from Europe to Asia.


I believe he has seriously underestimated the power of the brand.

[U] energy that is produced and used to make things work: »

The agency is running a campaign to try and turn public opinion in favour of nuclear power.


The energy regulator agreed that power companies could make customers sign long-term agreements.

a power cut/failure/outage »

A power outage in Quebec left 6 million people in the dark.

[U] IT the ability of a machine, computer, etc. to work effectively: »

The system is a way of measuring how much computer-processing power is needed to handle all the hits to a customer's site.

See also BARGAINING POWER(Cf. ↑bargaining power), BORROWING POWERS(Cf. ↑borrowing powers), BUYER POWER(Cf. ↑buyer power), BUYING POWER(Cf. ↑buying power), EARNING POWER(Cf. ↑earning power), GREY POWER(Cf. ↑grey power), MARKET POWER(Cf. ↑market power), PESTER POWER(Cf. ↑pester power), PRICING POWER(Cf. ↑pricing power), PURCHASING POWER(Cf. ↑purchasing power), SOLAR POWER(Cf. ↑solar power), SPENDING POWER(Cf. ↑spending power), STAYING POWER(Cf. ↑staying power), UNDERWRITING POWER(Cf. ↑underwriting power), WIND POWER(Cf. ↑wind power)
power UK US /ˈpaʊər/ verb [T]
to provide a machine, computer, vehicle, etc. with the energy it needs to work effectively: »

be powered by sth


There is increasing interest in cars powered by alternative fuels, such as ethanol or clean diesel.


Most computers are now powered by Intel chips.

to make something happen in a faster or more effective way: »

The supermarket's strong performance was powered by a 39% increase in sales of organic produce.

power UK US /ˈpaʊər/ adjective [before noun]
operated by electricity or a motor: »

power tools


a power drill

used to describe something that shows that you are a busy important person in a company: »

She was wearing her trademark power suit for the meeting.

Financial and business terms. 2012.

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