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In this paper the single-phase and polyphase definitions of reactive power are considered. The single-phase definition is unsatisfactory when the current and voltage wave forms are complex. The polyphase definition is the better but requires the independent recognition of the effects of distortion and, in the case of four or more wires, mesh distribution. The geometric difference between the apparent power and the power may be called the fictitious power to distinguish it from the reactive power which is only part of the fictitious power.