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The Best Quotes About Power

Updated June 14, 2019 1.5k votes 419 voters 28.8k views

List RulesMust be a famous or well-known quote. Vote for the power sayings that strongly resonate with you, and downvote any you didn't like.

A list of the best power quotes and sayings, including the names of each speaker or author when available. This list is sorted by popularity, so only the most famous power quotes are at the top. The authors of these historic power quotes are displayed next to each quote, so if you see one you like be sure to check out other inspirational power quotes from that same writer.

This list answers the questions, "What are the best quotes about power?" and "What are inspirational power quotes?"

This list includes notable power quotes by various authors, writers, playwrights, speakers, politicians, athletes, poets, and more. Vote on your favorites so that the greatest power quotes rise to the top, as the order of the list changes dynamically based on votes. Don't let your favorite power sayings get to the bottom of the list.
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  • 1
    92
    26

    Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.

    Abraham Lincoln
  • 2
    50
    15

    Power never takes a step back except in the face of more power.

    Malcolm X
  • 3
    49
    24

    You cannot have power for good without having power for evil too. Even mother's milk nourishes murderers as well as heroes.

    George Bernard Shaw
  • 4
    29
    9

    Power does not corrupt men; fools, however, if they get into a position of power, corrupt power.

    George Bernard Shaw
  • 5
    38
    19

    No man is wise enough, or good enough to be trusted with unlimited power.

    Charles Caleb Colton
  • 6
    23
    4

    He who pays the piper calls the tune.

  • 7
    20
    4

    Madness in great ones must not unwatched go.

    William Shakespeare
  • 8
    22
    7

    Power is no blessing in itself, except when it is used to protect the innocent.

    Jonathan Swift
  • 9
    26
    13

    Power is the most persuasive rhetoric.

    Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller
  • 10
    20
    5

    Thoughts mixed with definiteness of purpose, persistence, and a burning desire are powerful things.

    Napoleon Hill
  • 11
    18
    4

    All, or the greatest part of men that have aspired to riches or power, have attained thereunto either by force or fraud, and what they have by craft or cruelty gained, to cover the foulness of their fact, they call purchase, as a name more honest. Howsoever, he that for want of will or wit useth not those means, must rest in servitude and poverty.

    Walter Raleigh
  • 12
    23
    9

    Nothing powers hate better than embarrassment.

    Janet Morris
  • 13
    15
    2

    What doth it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul?

  • 14
    19
    7

    Power is not a means, it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship.

    George Orwell
  • 15
    15
    2

    A cock has great influence on his own dunghill.

    Publilius Syrus
  • 16
    18
    7
  • 17
    20
    10

    The power to do good is also the power to do harm.

    Milton Friedman
  • 18
    18
    7
  • 19
    17
    8

    If you haven't the strength to impose your own terms upon life, you must accept the terms it offers you.

    T. S. Eliot
  • 20
    15
    5
  • 21
    17
    7

    There are powers inside of you which, if you could discover and use, would make of you everything you ever dreamed or imagined you could become.

    Orison Swett Marden
  • 22
    15
    5

    Power is the by-product of understanding.

    Jacob Bronowski
  • 23
    18
    10

    Unless a serpent devour a serpent it will not become a dragon. Unless one power absorb another, it will not become great.

  • 24
    11
    2

    There must be, not a balance of power, but a community of power; not organized rivalries, but an organized peace.

    Woodrow Wilson
  • 25
    16
    9

    Power corrupts, but lack of power corrupts absolutely.

    Adlai Stevenson I