Difference Between Power & Authority

Power and Authority are often thought of as synonyms, but there are some distinctions between the two terms. The word ‘authority’ typically refers to ‘ability,’ while the word ‘power’ usually refers to ‘influence.’ This is the primary distinction between the two words.

For example, consider the following sentences:

1. He has the authority to impress the audience.
2. She has the authority to speak fluently.

In both cases, the word ‘authority’ is used to mean ‘ability.’ The first sentence means “he has the ability to impress the audience,” while the second sentence means “she has the ability to speak fluently.”

Now consider these sentences:

1. He used his power to reinstate the dismissed officer.
2. He came under the power of drugs.

In both examples, the word ‘power’ is used to mean ‘influence.’ The first sentence can be rephrased as “he used his influence to reinstate the dismissed officer,” and the second sentence can be rephrased as “he came under the influence of drugs.”

Key Takeaways

  • Authority generally refers to the ‘ability’ of a person or entity.
  • Power typically refers to the ‘influence’ of a person or entity.
  • Both words have additional meanings, such as ‘expert’ for authority and ‘strength’ for power.
Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard is an accomplished writer with expertise in creating engaging articles and content across various platforms. His dedication to research and crafting high-quality content has led to over 5 years of professional writing and editing experience. In his personal life, Gil enjoys connecting with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. His curiosity and eagerness to learn from others fuel his passion for communication. He believes that engaging with strangers can be both enlightening and enjoyable, making it easier to strike up conversations and expand one's horizons.


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