power(redirected from powers that be)
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Poweran abundance; a body of armed men; a fighting force; a large quantity, a great number—Johnson, 1755.
- About as influential as the ‘p’ in pneumonia and the ‘k’ in knitting —Anon
- Aggressive as an elbow in the side —Henry James
- As omnipotent and as full of faults as Jove —Wallace Stegner
- Authority shrivelled as muslin in a fire —Vita Sackville-West
- Authority without wisdom is like a heavy ax without an edge, fitter to bruise than to polish —Anne Bradstreet
- Compelling as a gun at your head —Anon
- [Choice to do something] compelling as the sense of vocation which doctors and missionaries are supposed to experience —John Braine
- (He is) consuming … like a candle —Richard Flecknoe
- Feel like a lion in a den of Daniels —W. S. Gilbert
- Strong [a person’s pull on others] as a riptide —Reynolds Price
- Glows with power like a successful shaman —Marge Piercy
- Had a ring of authority, like monarchy —Barbara Lazear Ascher
- Immoderate power, like other intemperance, leaves the progeny weaker and weaker, until Nature, as [if] in compassion, covers it with her mantle and is seen no more —Walter Savage Landor
- Influence is like a savings account. The less you use it, the more you’ve got —Andrew Young
- Influential as gnats —Susan Heller Anderson
- It’s like a Dead Sea fruit. When you achieve it, there is nothing there —Harold Macmillan, Parade, July 7, 1963
- Like wealth and power, prestige tends to be cumulative: the more of it you have, the more you can get —C. Wright Mills
- Made him fetch and carry just as if he was a great Newfoundland dog —William Makepeace Thackeray
- (But her looks have) no power over me … like a tug on a tree on a limb that has lost feeling —William Getz
- Once a man of power, always a man of power. Like being a Boy Scout —Anthony Powell
- (Memories … ) powerful as floods —Elizabeth Spencer
- Power [in the Middle East] gravitates towards radicals like iron filings toward a magnet —Karen Elliott House
- Power, like a desolating pestilence, pollutes whatever it touches —Percy Bysshe Shelley
’Whatever’ replaces the old English ‘whate’er.’
- Power, like lightning, injures before its warning —Pedro Calderon de la Barca
- Power, like the diamond, dazzles the beholder, and also the wearer —Charles Caleb Colton
- The right of commanding … like an inheritance, it is the fruit of labors, the price of courage —Voltaire
- To rule must be a calling, it seems, like surgery or sculpture —W. H. Auden
- Scenting power like blood —Janet Flanner
- Seemed the personification of brute strength … like a gorilla dripped in peroxide —Donald Seaman
- Strode like a colossus over the [White House] staff —Dean Rusk, New York Times March 1, 1987
Rusk used this image to compare Lyndon Johnson’s control over the White House staff to Ronald Reagan’s delegation of power.
- Swept me ahead of her like a leaf —Elizabeth Bishop
- There was authority in his attitude … and its heat threatened to melt Bird [name of character] like a piece of candy —Kenzaburo Oë
- They pass him on from hand to hand, like a baton in a relay race, and he ultimately becomes a puppet manipulated by others —Vladmir Solovyou and Elena Klopikova
- To add a little weight to his argument he put a hand like a bunch of bananas flat on my chest —Jimmy Sangster
- Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered —Thomas Paine
come on like gangbusters To burst upon the scene with noisy exuberance; to come on with great power or force; to be officious or overbearing at first meeting. This expression derives from the blaring sound effects that opened a 1936 radio program called Gangbusters. These included the sounds of marching feet, machine-gun fire, and a screaming siren.
money talks Wealth means power; almost anything can be secured with money. This expression alludes to the way money and its procurement direct one’s life, as well as to the automatic respect and deference given to the wealthy by the less affluent.
the powers that be The authorities; a group or individual exercising complete control and having the power to make decisions affecting large numbers of people. This phrase is Biblical in origin.
For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. (Romans 13:1)
It is implied that “the powers that be” are impersonal and inaccessible.
pull rank To make use of one’s higher status in order to obtain a desired objective. This expression originated in the armed forces, where one of subordinate rank must comply absolutely with the orders of a superior. The term is now also applied to civilians, particularly in describing certain employeremployee interactions. In either case, the expression usually suggests the unexpected or unfair use of authority in resolving a dilemma or in demanding submission.
throw one’s weight around To exert one’s influence inappropriately or unfairly, to pull strings; to lord it over subordinates, to pull rank. Weight, meaning ‘power or influence,’ probably derives from the advantage of added pounds or extra weight in contact sports.
If someone has power, they are able to control other people and their activities.
Don't use 'power' to refer to someone's physical energy, or their ability to move heavy objects. Use strength.
Past participle: powered
|Noun||1.||power - possession of controlling influence; "the deterrent power of nuclear weapons"; "the power of his love saved her"; "his powerfulness was concealed by a gentle facade"|
quality - an essential and distinguishing attribute of something or someone; "the quality of mercy is not strained"--Shakespeare
effectiveness, potency, strength - capacity to produce strong physiological or chemical effects; "the toxin's potency"; "the strength of the drinks"
valence, valency - (chemistry) a property of atoms or radicals; their combining power given in terms of the number of hydrogen atoms (or the equivalent)
valence, valency - (biology) a relative capacity to unite or react or interact as with antigens or a biological substrate
preponderance - superiority in power or influence; "the preponderance of good over evil"; "the preponderance of wealth and power"
puissance - power to influence or coerce; "the puissance of the labor vote"
persuasiveness, strength - the power to induce the taking of a course of action or the embracing of a point of view by means of argument or entreaty; "the strength of his argument settled the matter"
interestingness, interest - the power of attracting or holding one's attention (because it is unusual or exciting etc.); "they said nothing of great interest"; "primary colors can add interest to a room"
chokehold, stranglehold, throttlehold - complete power over a person or situation; "corporations have a stranglehold on the media"; "the president applied a chokehold to labor disputes that inconvenienced the public"
sway - controlling influence
influence - a power to affect persons or events especially power based on prestige etc; "used her parents' influence to get the job"
control - power to direct or determine; "under control"
jurisdiction, legal power - (law) the right and power to interpret and apply the law; "courts having jurisdiction in this district"
disposal - the power to use something or someone; "used all the resources at his disposal"
veto - the power or right to prohibit or reject a proposed or intended act (especially the power of a chief executive to reject a bill passed by the legislature)
effectiveness, effectivity, effectuality, effectualness - power to be effective; the quality of being able to bring about an effect
|2.||power - (physics) the rate of doing work; measured in watts (= joules/second)|
natural philosophy, physics - the science of matter and energy and their interactions; "his favorite subject was physics"
physical phenomenon - a natural phenomenon involving the physical properties of matter and energy
waterpower - the power to do work that is latent in a head of water
|3.||power - possession of the qualities (especially mental qualities) required to do something or get something done; "danger heightened his powers of discrimination"|
know-how - the (technical) knowledge and skill required to do something
leadership - the ability to lead; "he believed that leadership can be taught"
intelligence - the ability to comprehend; to understand and profit from experience
aptitude - inherent ability
bilingualism - the ability to speak two languages colloquially
mental ability, capacity - the power to learn or retain knowledge; in law, the ability to understand the facts and significance of your behavior
originality - the ability to think and act independently
science, skill - ability to produce solutions in some problem domain; "the skill of a well-trained boxer"; "the sweet science of pugilism"
acquirement, skill, accomplishment, attainment, acquisition - an ability that has been acquired by training
hand - ability; "he wanted to try his hand at singing"
superior skill - more than ordinary ability
|4.||power - (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 office"; "during his first year in power"; "the power of the president"|
state - the way something is with respect to its main attributes; "the current state of knowledge"; "his state of health"; "in a weak financial state"
governing, government activity, government, governance, administration - the act of governing; exercising authority; "regulations for the governing of state prisons"; "he had considerable experience of government"
executive clemency - the power (usually of a president or governor) to pardon or commute the sentence of someone convicted in that jurisdiction
war power - an extraordinary power exercised (usually by the executive branch) in the prosecution of a war and involving an extension of the powers that the government normally has in peacetime
|5.||power - 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"|
causal agency, causal agent, cause - any entity that produces an effect or is responsible for events or results
influence - one having power to influence another; "she was the most important influence in my life"; "he was a bad influence on the children"
Moloch - a tyrannical power to be propitiated by human subservience or sacrifice; "the great Moloch of war"; "duty has become the Moloch of modern life"- Norman Douglas
|6.||power - a mathematical notation indicating the number of times a quantity is multiplied by itself|
degree - the highest power of a term or variable
mathematical notation - a notation used by mathematicians
|7.||power - physical strength |
strength - the property of being physically or mentally strong; "fatigue sapped his strength"
|8.||power - a state powerful enough to influence events throughout the world|
body politic, country, nation, res publica, commonwealth, state, land - a politically organized body of people under a single government; "the state has elected a new president"; "African nations"; "students who had come to the nation's capitol"; "the country's largest manufacturer"; "an industrialized land"
hegemon - a leading or paramount power
|9.||power - a very wealthy or powerful businessman; "an oil baron"|
businessman, man of affairs - a person engaged in commercial or industrial business (especially an owner or executive)
oil tycoon - a powerful person in the oil business
|Verb||1.||power - supply the force or power for the functioning of; "The gasoline powers the engines"|
drive - cause to function by supplying the force or power for or by controlling; "The amplifier drives the tube"; "steam drives the engines"; "this device drives the disks for the computer"
ability inability, incompetence, incapacity, incapability
strength weakness, impotence, feebleness, listlessness, enervation
"Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely" [First Baron Acton letter]
"Unlimited power is apt to corrupt the minds of those who possess it" [William Pitt, Earl of Chatham]
"Power is the great aphrodisiac" [Henry Kissinger]
"Here we may reign secure, and in my choice"
"To reign is worth ambition though in hell;"
"Better to reign in hell, than serve in heav'n" [John Milton Paradise Lost]
"Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun" [Mao Tse-tung]
"A friend in power is a friend lost" [Henry Brooks Adams The Education of Henry Adams]
"The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufficient warrant" [John Stuart Mill On Liberty]
to have power over sb → tener poder sobre algn
to have sb in one's power → tener a algn en su poder
to be in sb's power → estar en poder de algn
to have the power of life and death over sb → tener poder para decidir sobre la vida de algn
more power to your elbow! → ¡qué tengas éxito!
to be in power → estar en el poder
to come to power → subir al poder
to fall from power → perder el poder
power to the people! → ¡el pueblo al poder!
a nation's air/sea power → la potencia aérea/naval de un país, el poderío aéreo/naval de un país
she has the power to act → tiene poder or autoridad para actuar
they have no power in economic matters → carecen de autoridad en asuntos económicos
it was seen as an abuse of his power → se percibió como un abuso de poder por su parte
power of attorney (Jur) → poder m, procuración f
that is beyond or outside my power(s) → eso no es de mi competencia
to exceed one's powers → excederse en el ejercicio de sus atribuciones or facultades
he has full powers to negotiate a solution → goza de plenos poderes para negociar una solución
power of veto → derecho m de veto
that does not fall within my power(s) → eso no es de mi competencia
it is beyond his power to save her → no está dentro de sus posibilidades salvarla, no puede hacer nada para salvarla
powers of concentration → capacidad f de concentración
to be at the height of one's powers → estar en plenitud de facultades
powers of imagination → capacidad f imaginativa
to do all or everything in one's power to help sb → hacer todo lo posible por ayudar a algn
powers of persuasion → poder m de persuasión or convicción
see also purchasing B
his powers are failing → decaen sus facultades
mental powers → facultades fpl mentales
the power of speech → la facultad del habla
the Great Powers → las grandes potencias
one of the great naval powers → una de las grandes potencias navales
the leaders of the major world powers → los líderes de las principales potencias mundiales
they are the real power in the government → son los que ostentan el auténtico poder en el gobierno
the Church is no longer the power it was → la Iglesia ha dejado de tener el poder que tenía
the powers that be → las autoridades, los que mandan
the powers of darkness or evil → las fuerzas del mal
the power behind the throne → la eminencia gris
the power of love/thought → el poder del amor/del intelecto
a painting of great power → un cuadro de gran impacto, un cuadro que causa honda impresión
microwave on full power for one minute → póngalo con el microondas a plena potencia durante un minuto
engines at half power → motores mpl a medio gas or a media potencia
magnifying power → capacidad f de aumento, número m de aumentos
the ship returned to port under her own power → el buque volvió al puerto impulsado por sus propios motores
they cut off the power → cortaron la corriente
nuclear power → energía f nuclear
7 to the power (of) 3 → 7 elevado a la 3a potencia, 7 elevado al cubo
to the nth power → a la enésima potencia
that holiday did me a power of good → esas vacaciones me hicieron mucho bien
her words did their morale a power of good → sus palabras les levantaron un montón la moral
the new training methods have done their game a power of good → el nuevo método de entrenamiento ha supuesto una notable mejoría en su juego
a racing car powered by a 4.2 litre engine → un coche de carreras impulsado por un motor de 4,2 litros
a car powered by electricity → un coche eléctrico
the electric lighting is powered by a generator → un generador se encarga de alimentar el alumbrado eléctrico
see also -powered
power broker N (Pol) → poder m en la sombra
power cable N → cable m de energía eléctrica
power cut N (Brit) → corte m de luz or de corriente, apagón m
power dressing N → moda f de ejecutivo
power drill N → taladro m eléctrico, taladradora f eléctrica
power failure N → fallo m del suministro eléctrico
power game N (esp Pol) → juego m del poder
power line N → línea f de conducción eléctrica, cable m de alta tensión
power outage (US) N = power cut power pack N → transformador m
power plant N (= generator) → grupo m electrógeno (US) = power station power play N (Sport) → demostración f de fuerza (en el juego ofensivo); (from temporary suspension) → superioridad f (en el ataque) (fig) (= use of power) → maniobra f de poder, demostración f de fuerza; (= power struggle) → lucha f por el poder
power point N (Brit) (Elec) → enchufe m, toma f de corriente
power politics N → política fsing de fuerza
power saw N → motosierra f, sierra f mecánica
power shovel N → excavadora f
power station N → central f eléctrica, usina f eléctrica (S. Cone)
power steering N (Aut) → dirección f asistida
power structure N → estructura f del poder
power struggle N → lucha f por el poder
power supply N → suministro m eléctrico
power surge N (Elec) → subida f de tensión
power tool N → herramienta f eléctrica
power unit N → grupo m electrógeno
power workers NPL → trabajadores mpl del sector energético
I underestimated the power of the explosion → J'avais sous-estimé la puissance de l'explosion.
to have better power [car] → être plus puissant
to have the power to do sth → avoir le pouvoir de faire qch
to do everything in one's power to do sth → faire tout ce qui est en son pouvoir pour faire qch
to be in a position of power → être dans une position de pouvoir
to be in power [party] → être au pouvoir
to take power → prendre le pouvoir
to come to power [party] → accéder au pouvoir
to be in his power → être en son pouvoir
to be in my power → être en mon pouvoir powers
legal powers → pouvoirs judiciaires
police powers → des pouvoirs de police
the powers that be → les autorités constituées
the power's off (= switched off) → le courant est coupé (= there's a power cut) → il y a une coupure de courant
The generator provides enough electricity to power several homes → Le générateur fournit assez d'électricité pour alimenter plusieurs maisons.
The building is powered by solar energy → Le bâtiment est alimenté en électricité grâce à l'énergie solaire., L'énergie solaire alimente le bâtiment en électricité.
to cut off the power (Elec) → togliere la corrente
the ship returned under its own power → la nave è tornata con i propri mezzi
more power to your elbow! (fam) → dacci dentro!
mental powers → capacità fpl mentali
it is beyond his power to save her → non può far nulla per salvarla
to do all in one's power to help sb → fare tutto quello che si può per aiutare qn
the power of speech → la facoltà or l'uso della parola
powers of persuasion/imagination → forza di persuasione/immaginazione
the power of the Church → l'autorità della Chiesa
that is beyond my power(s) → questo è al di là dei miei poteri
to have power over sb → aver potere su qn
to have sb in one's power → avere qn in proprio potere
to be in sb's power → essere in potere di qn
to be in power → essere al potere
to come to power → salire al potere
the power behind the throne → l'eminenza grigia
the world powers → le grandi potenze
the powers that be → le autorità costituite
the powers of darkness or evil → le forze del male
plane powered by 4 jets → aereo azionato da 4 motori a reazione
nuclear-powered submarine → sottomarino a propulsione atomica