Middle English Dictionary Entry

pǒuē̆r(e n.
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

(a) The ability of a person, an animal, a soul, an angel, a spirit, etc., to act; ability (to do sth.); ~ of, capacity for or power of (doing sth.); ~ of harm, means or capacity for doing harm; bi ~, ?with skill or ability; ben of ~, haven pouer(es, to be able (to do sth.); haven ~ in fightinge, be able to fight; (b) a faculty of body or soul; capacity for a particular kind of activity; (c) at (as, as to, at al, bi, bi al, for, in al, to, unto, upon, with al pouere(s, to the best of (one's, their) ability, with all (one's, their) might or ability; (d) after ~, according to (one's) ability or capacity, to the best of (one's) ability; (e) in ~, within (one's) power or ability; lien (ben) in ~, to be within (one's) power or ability; be within (man's) capacity to understand [quot.: c1400]; ben of ~, be possible; over ~, beyond (a hawk's) strength; (f) don ~, to do all in (one's) power; (g) bi al the ~ that i mighte don, in everything that I could do; for here alder poueres, in spite of all that they could do; with al swich ~ as god hath yeven theim, with all the strength that God has given them; with al ~ and might, to the best of my ability.
Financial resources, wealth, ability to pay; ben of (in on) ~, to have financial resources; afford (to pay, buy, etc.); after (bi) ~, according to (one's) wealth; over ~, beyond one's means.
Of men or animals: physical strength, energy, vigor; might or prowess in battle; if ~ stonde, if bodily strength or vigor remain.
(a) The capacity of a thing, quality, condition, etc., for having a certain effect; efficacy; power (to do sth.); the strength of a weapon [1st quot.]; haven ~ ayenes, to avail against (sth.); (b) the special virtue or property of a stone or mineral; (c) the influence of a heavenly body; influence or dominance of a zodiacal sign over bodily parts or organs; (d) physical force, violence.
(a) Spiritual power; spiritual authority; also, the power exercised by Christ while on earth; the power conferred upon the disciples and by apostolic succession; (b) the power of God; haven ~ with, to have the power of (the Godhead); (c) one of God's mighty deeds; (d) the power of a god, the Devil, a devil, the Antichrist; (e) the efficacy of a deed or sacrament.
(a) Control; a complexion's dominance during a certain period; ~ of, control of (a thing, condition); (b) mastery of a person or people, lordship, dominion; authority; (c) real (regal, roial) ~, ~ roial, the lordship or authority of a monarch; also fig.; spiritual ~, the authority of the Church; temporal ~, secular lordship; (d) a position of authority; one of the powers accruing to lordship; (e) a person possessing dominion or authority; (f) ben of ~, to possess lordship or authority; ben in ~, be in a position of authority, possess lordship; bringen (don, setten) in ~, establish (sb.) in lordship or a position of power; taken ~, assume authority or dominion; (g) in ~, in the ~ of, in (a person's, one's, God's, etc.) control, subject to authority or lordship; under ~, under (a person's) authority or control; within an area under (a person's) authority [quot.: c1475(a1400)]; out of ~, beyond (a person's) control; putten in ~, nimen into (to) ~, under-putten to ~, to make (sb., sth., oneself) subject to (a person's, one's, the Devil's) domination or control; bringen in ~, driven into ~, render (deeds, lands) subject, control (sth.); ordeined under ~, set under authority; (h) ~ of (in, into, on, over, to, upon), authority or power over (sb., oneself, sth.); ~ with, influence with or upon (sb.); taken a ~ in, to gain control of (sb.); (i) with ~, ?by force or compulsion.
(a) Legal power or authority; esp. authority delegated or conferred upon someone; authorization; a legal power; the authority to hear confession and give absolution; (b) fre (ful, plein) ~, unrestricted power or authority; (c) ben of here ouen ~, are legally competent in their own right; (d) territorial jurisdiction of a town; (e) legal authority or effect of a deed or a grant of privilege
A land or territory under a person's control or authority, dominion, kingdom.
(a) A military force, an army; also fig.; host of warriors; the noblemen of a king [2nd quot.]; also, military force or might; ben of ~, to have military power; (b) ~ of shire, the army of a sheriff's domain, the posse comitatus; (c) a period of military might or dominance.
Misc. (a) Pl. an order of angels; the Powers; (b) gram. a general term for the quality of a conjunction in regard to the kinds of connections it can make; (c) the word 'power'; (d) glossing ML apodoxis; ?conclusive proof.

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • c1450 Peniarth Accedence(1) (Pen 356B)7/306 : How mony thyngus longon to a coniunccion? III. Wech iij? Powere, fygur, and ordyr.
  • Note: Supplemental material for sense 10.(b).