"Knowledge is Power". Power here means ability, authority or strength?

Discussion in 'English Only' started by m1517luther, Jan 10, 2016.

  1. m1517luther Member

    I heard that quite a few Asian translations interpret power here as "strength".
    But this isn't what in my mind. I look up the dictionary. Which meaning does it really fits?

    a) the ability or authority to control people or events
    e.g. The chairman has no power over the final decisions.

    b) the ability to influence people's feelings
    e.g. the immense power of television.
    e.g. consumer power.

    c) the ability to do something that others couldn't
    e.g. Sherlock Holmes' powers of observation
    e.g. a stone with magical powers

    d) energy, force.
    e.g. The ferry was able to leave port under its own power.

    P.S. I realise this cliche is originally in Latin "nam et ipsa scientia potestas est", quoted from Francis Bacon where he makes a point about God has power of knowing rather than power of acting.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2016
  2. Thomas Tompion Senior Member

    Southern England
    English - England
    I'd think that people who talk like that were probably referring to meanings a and b.
  3. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    American English
    I would say A.

    Ok, and B, now that I've read above and below. :)

    The ability or authority to control or influence people and events. (To combine them both.)
  4. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    I'd say it's (a) plus (b).

    (C) is countable; the sort of "power" in (d) has little to do with knowledge.



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