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This question is a spin-off of this one in Portuguese SE. In that question, the OP wanted to know how to translate to Portuguese the expression powered by as used in websites or softwares when another company provides part of its functionality.

Personally, as a foreigner learning English, powered by seems to me as a positive way to say that, for instance, company XYZ is providing web hosting or the search engine for my website. It sounds to me like the website is proud to have such company offer me it's services.

I would like to know if native English speakers feel the same way or powered by sounds like a neutral way to say the same thing.

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  • it sounds positive to my ear.
    – P. O.
    Sep 18 '15 at 15:59
  • Yes. If they weren't proud of the fact that they are using XYZ they wouldn't advertise it by placing a "powered by" notification on their site.
    – Jim
    Sep 18 '15 at 16:03
  • The Challenger Tank is powered by a 12 cylinder, 1,200 horsepower diesel engine. That sounds quite positive to me.
    – WS2
    Sep 18 '15 at 16:37
  • The people who use it in describing websites (always their own websites, interestingly) certainly think that it has a positive connotation. In fact, it connotes an attempt at salesmanship more than any positive connotation. If you admire salesmanship, that's positive; if not, not. Because there is, in fact, no power involved, except 220 VAC in most cases. Sep 18 '15 at 18:02
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Provided that XYZ Corporation is a giant of its kind, to say that your website, or whatever, is powered by it is a sutle way to add value to that product and enhance its earnings potential.

The same applies to reviewed by, supported by or recommended by, in different contexts.

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  • Would it sound neutral if it was said provided by instead of powered by?
    – gmauch
    Sep 18 '15 at 16:44
  • @gmauch The moment you specify a brand name, either you want to advertise that brand or to enhance your product potentials.
    – Centaurus
    Sep 18 '15 at 16:49

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