Found 1 items, similar to passive power.
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Definition: passive power
, n. [OE. pouer, poer, OF. poeir, pooir, F.
pouvoir, n. & v., fr. LL. potere, for L. posse, potesse, to
be able, to have power. See Possible
, and cf.
1. Ability to act, regarded as latent or inherent; the
faculty of doing or performing something; capacity for
action or performance; capability of producing an effect,
whether physical or moral: potency; might; as, a man of
great power; the power of capillary attraction; money
gives power. “One next himself in power, and next in
2. Ability, regarded as put forth or exerted; strength,
force, or energy in action; as, the power of steam in
moving an engine; the power of truth, or of argument, in
producing conviction; the power of enthusiasm. “The power
3. Capacity of undergoing or suffering; fitness to be acted
upon; susceptibility; -- called also passive power
great power of endurance.
Power, then, is active and passive; faculty is
active power or capacity; capacity is passive power.
4. The exercise of a faculty; the employment of strength; the
exercise of any kind of control; influence; dominion;
sway; command; government.
Power is no blessing in itself but when it is
employed to protect the innocent. --Swift.
5. The agent exercising an ability to act; an individual
invested with authority; an institution, or government,
which exercises control; as, the great powers of Europe;
hence, often, a superhuman agent; a spirit; a divinity.
“The powers of darkness.”
And the powers of the heavens shall be shaken.
6. A military or naval force; an army or navy; a great host.
Never such a power . . .
Was levied in the body of a land. --Shak.
7. A large quantity; a great number; as, a power o? good
things. [Colloq.] --Richardson.
(a) The rate at which mechanical energy is exerted or
mechanical work performed, as by an engine or other
machine, or an animal, working continuously; as, an
engine of twenty horse power.
Note: The English unit of power used most commonly is the
horse power. See Horse power
(b) A mechanical agent; that from which useful mechanical
energy is derived; as, water power; steam power; hand
(c) Applied force; force producing motion or pressure; as,
the power applied at one and of a lever to lift a
weight at the other end.
Note: This use in mechanics, of power as a synonym for force,
is improper and is becoming obsolete.
(d) A machine acted upon by an animal, and serving as a
motor to drive other machinery; as, a dog power.
Note: Power is used adjectively, denoting, driven, or adapted
to be driven, by machinery, and not actuated directly
by the hand or foot; as, a power lathe; a power loom; a
9. (Math.) The product arising from the multiplication of a
number into itself; as, a square is the second power, and
a cube is third power, of a number.
10. (Metaph.) Mental or moral ability to act; one of the
faculties which are possessed by the mind or soul; as,
the power of thinking, reasoning, judging, willing,
fearing, hoping, etc. --I. Watts.
The guiltiness of my mind, the sudden surprise of
my powers, drove the grossness . . . into a
received belief. --Shak.
11. (Optics) The degree to which a lens, mirror, or any
optical instrument, magnifies; in the telescope, and
usually in the microscope, the number of times it
multiplies, or augments, the apparent diameter of an
object; sometimes, in microscopes, the number of times it
multiplies the apparent surface.
12. (Law) An authority enabling a person to dispose of an
interest vested either in himself or in another person;
ownership by appointment. --Wharton.
13. Hence, vested authority to act in a given case; as, the
business was referred to a committee with power.
Note: Power may be predicated of inanimate agents, like the
winds and waves, electricity and magnetism,
gravitation, etc., or of animal and intelligent beings;
and when predicated of these beings, it may indicate
physical, mental, or moral ability or capacity.
. See under Mechanical
, or Power press
. See Def. 8
Power of attorney
. See under Attorney
Power of a point
(relative to a given curve) (Geom.), the
result of substituting the co["o]rdinates of any point in
that expression which being put equal to zero forms the
equation of the curve; as, x^2
- 100 is the
power of the point x, y, relative to the circle x^2
- 100 = 0.