What's the word for when someone uses the power of their title or designation to get some work done or extract some information? I know there's a very specific word for this, and it's not exploit or leverage.

  • 2
    There are expressions, such as "Throwing your weight around" or "Pulling rank". I can't think of a single word, though.
    – Joe L.
    Commented Feb 18, 2016 at 18:41
  • 1
    This is not a single word, but a common phrase for this is "he's throwing his weight around."
    – ab2
    Commented Feb 18, 2016 at 18:42
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    @JoeL. 'Pulling rank' is a good answer, at least for some contexts. You should post it as an answer.
    – dwjohnston
    Commented Feb 18, 2016 at 18:49
  • Right on. A case of simultaneous typing!
    – Rob_Ster
    Commented Feb 18, 2016 at 19:02
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    It's about the exercise of authority isn't it? But I have a question about the context here. I see bossy, ranking, and tossing weight, but what is a word to describe a professional application of authority? He says it's not exploitative or leveraged(?) so it seems to me that "throwing" and "abuse" are out. Pulling rank and impose seem the less hostile. Just my two cents.
    – user116032
    Commented Feb 20, 2016 at 1:17

4 Answers 4


There's the expression, "Pulling rank", which is used in a more neutral way.

  • 1
    You need to post a much more detailed answer. Pulling rank refers specifically to someone within the same organisational structure, using their position to establish their authority.You should include an example usage.
    – dwjohnston
    Commented Feb 18, 2016 at 18:55

To boss about/around, comes close to what you are looking for:

  • to ​tell someone what to do all the ​time:

    • I ​wish he'd ​stop bossing me around/about.

(Cambridge Dicrtionary)


Consider to to throw one's weight around, which implies bullying behavior based upon the person's real or perceived status.

Senator Phogbound brought the Contaminated Pork Museum to his hometown by throwing his weight around in the Office of Public Monuments and Useless Facilities.


Impose seems like a fitting word for the situation described. The word implies forcing upon (the origin indicates "laying on a burden"), which fits the authority/power characteristic.


  1. to lay on or set as something to be borne, endured, obeyed, fulfilled, paid, etc.

    : to impose taxes.

  2. to put or set by or as if by authority

    :to impose one's personal preference on others.

  3. to obtrude or thrust (oneself, one's company, etc.) upon others.

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