- (plural only) Alternative spelling of powers that be.
After Romans 13:1 in the Tyndale Bible (1526: "Let every soul submit himself unto the authority of the higher powers. There is no power but of God. The powers that be, are ordained of God.") and the King James Version (1611: "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: The powers that be are ordained of God.").
This "be" was not an English subjunctive but translated the Ancient Greek αἱ οὖσαι ἐξουσίαι (hai oûsai exousíai, “the existing powers”, literally “those being authorities”) using the now-archaic alternative indicative form of "are".