poor power

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poor power (uncountable)

  1. (idiomatic) Limited ability.
    • 1863 Nov. 19, Abraham Lincoln, The Gettysburg Address:
      We cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract.
    • 1879, George MacDonald,Sir Gibbie, ch. 52:
      Gibbie held her fast, and with all the ways in his poor power sought to comfort her.
    • 1890, H. Rider Haggard, Beatrice, ch. 26:
      Heavy as was her burden, not one feather's weight of it should he carry, if by any means in her poor power she could hold it from his back.
    • 1986 May 19, "Fund Finishes Half a Century of Philanthropy with a Party," New York Times (retrieved 7 March 2014):
      "The spirit of the Stern Fund will continue," he said. "It is beyond the poor power of lawyers to dissolve it."