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(1) This acronym represents the Apostle Paul's phrase, "the powers that be." It is from his letter to the Romans, chapter 13, verse 1.

(2) It was used by Joss Whedon's "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Angel" TV series to describe a specific group of supernatural beings, whose purpose was to maintain the balance of good and evil in the world.
"The powers that be (TPTB) are ordained of God." Romans 13:1
by Cheerful Traveller July 22, 2009
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2
Short for, The Powers That Be meaning government, corporations, authority, god, some others....
Damn I hope TPTB don't start a NWO that destroys our freedom. (Wake Up, Look Around, Think for Yourself, and Those You Care For..)
by pmckart, cause IM NOT AFRAID! January 23, 2011
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3
Shorthand for "The Powers That Be". Believed to have started in Jossverse, the term refers to the directors, producers, writers, actors, etc. of a certain TV show. Mostly used in cult shows like Stargate, Star Trek, BtVS and the like.
"I was really upset when the TPTB killed off my favorite character."
by Dr. Lucia Zephyr December 26, 2004
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5
The Powers That Be, a warez re-release group specialising in compressed games and videos with .bat installers which extract the files.
I just downloaded this awesome game from TPTB, it was only 2gb when the original was 10gb!
by qwertyacme December 27, 2010
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