Difference Between Strength and Power (With Table)

Listen audio version

Strength and power are two similar terms with almost similar meanings but they are not the same thing. Even today there are people who confuse these two terms with each other because they think that these two terms are the same thing wherever they use them. I also have made the mistake of not knowing the real difference between these two terms.

Strength means the amount of force of muscles or a group of muscles that can exert an external load whereas the meaning of power is the ability to generate force. This is how these terms have two different meanings and therefore have different uses in a sentence too.

In other words, we can say that strength means focussing on force whereas power is the actual combination of force and speed. Both these terms are used to determine the ability of something or someone. Say suppose this machine has the strength to pull 50kgs of the load.

Strength vs Power

The difference between strength and power is the meaning of the two terms. Strength means force while power means the combination of force and speed. Other than the meaning these two terms are used differently when explaining physics, politics, sports, and other such pieces of stuff.

Comparison Table Between Strength and Power

Parameters of ComparisonStrengthPower
SpeedStrength does not focus on speed.Power, on the other hand, focuses on speed.
Functional ActivitiesLess relevant.More relevant.
SportsLess utilizedHighly utilized
ElectricityLess relevant while using as a termMore relevant while using as a term.
LiftingMostly usedNot that much is used.
MathematicsNot used in mathematical term.It is used in mathematical terms.

What is Strength?

Strength is nothing but focussing on the force. Well, different people will have a different opinions about the term strength. But, they must know that the term will have the same meaning no matter what. The term strength also indicates how physically strong someone is.

Taking an example here: Raj does not have the strength to do his homework after coming back from his football practice. Here, the sentence means that Raj does not have the power to complete his homework because he is tired after his football practice. The use of the word strength is used to denote the term strong.

However, other than that the term is used for several disciplines like in psychology, politics, and physics. In terms of psychology come the character strengths like bravery, motivation, courage, justice. In terms of politics comes the strength of a party or say suppose the strength of the military.

In terms of physics, the term can be used as compressive strength which means withstanding pushing force. Under physics, there are other terms used like tensile strength, shear strength, explosive strength, and field strength. All of them have different meanings according to their usage.

What is Power?

Power, on the other hand, focuses on the combination of force and speed. The term ‘Power’ comes from the Latin word ‘posse’ which means ‘be able’. However, this term too has different uses according to its principles.

Some of the most common principles where this term is used are in mathematics, physics, electricity, and politics. You see politics is the common principle in both of these terms. Well, according to mathematics principles this term is used in Exponentiation, power of a point, and statistical power.

In terms of physics, the term power is used as the rate of work over time and also for understanding magnification. In terms of electrical electric power is used to denote that how much electric power is utilized.

In terms of politics, the term is used as the political or social power of a particular party. The leading party will have the most power. If you see that these two terms are different from each other in terms of their usage according to the principles.

Main Differences Between Strength and Power

  1. The term strength comes from the Old English word ‘strengbu’ while the term power comes from the Latin word ‘posse’ which means ‘be able’.
  2. Strength generally focuses on force itself whereas power is the combination of speed and force.
  3. Speed is not considered in the case of strength but it is considered in the case of power.
  4. When compared strength and power in terms of sports then power is more utilized than strength.
  5. When relating to a machine-related energy then the term ‘power’ is used not ‘strength’.
  6. The term strength has a direct opposite word that is ‘weakness’ whereas there is no direct opposite word for ‘power’ but the opposite of power can be denoted as ‘lack of power’.
  7. The term power is used in mathematics whereas there is almost none or few usage of the term strength.

Conclusion

It is important for all students to know the difference between these two terms because one cannot be used in place of the other. Several questions also might be asked as to how these two terms differ from each other and you need to know how they are different and when and where they are used.

However, the term power is utilized in most cases whereas strength can be denoted only to someone’s ability. Strength is mostly utilized in the case of human beings as a personal strength. Say suppose a bodybuilder has the strength to lift 100 kilograms of weight.

This is how these two terms are different from each other and thus their usage varies from one another. In terms of politics, both these words are suitable and are used.

References

  1. https://link.springer.com/article/10.2165/00007256-199519060-00004
  2. https://brainmass.com/file/149510/Article.pdf