dis·​em·​pow·​er ˌdis-im-ˈpau̇(-ə)r How to pronounce disempower (audio)
disempowered; disempowering; disempowers

transitive verb

: to deprive of power, authority, or influence : make weak, ineffectual, or unimportant
disempowerment noun

Examples of disempower in a Sentence

They have been disempowered by a society that believes they are intellectually inferior.
Recent Examples on the Web Their strategy will disempower rightsholders by disempowering the only entity created and authorized to act on their behalf with respect to mechanical licenses – the MLC. Kristin Robinson, Billboard, 18 Mar. 2024 The comments are reminiscent of conspiracy theories promoted by White supremacists that there’s a plot to disempower White Americans. Nancy Cook, Fortune, 6 Mar. 2024 Follow your parenting instincts If expert parenting advice is part of a multi-century trend that disempowers parents, does following our instincts work any better? Alison Escalante, Forbes, 22 Feb. 2024 That language embraces the core tenets of a conspiracy theory known as replacement theory, which explains demographic changes as a plot by Western elites, including Jews, to replace and disempower white people. Annie Karni, New York Times, 13 Feb. 2024 One week from today, Ohioans have not voted early, will go to the polls on issue one, the Move by Frank LaRose to persuade voters to disempower themselves. Laura Johnston, cleveland, 1 Aug. 2023 In everyday life, people find ways to invalidate emotions, dismiss feelings as irrelevant to knowledge, and ultimately disempower feelers altogether. Rachel Dlugatch, Longreads, 18 July 2023 Similarly, within a country, the imperative of creating a seamless national market leads to national policies that disempower regional and local governments. Raghuram G. Rajan, Foreign Affairs, 20 Dec. 2022 At the moment, Israel’s right-wing coalition government’s plan to disempower the Supreme Court there is on hold, a mark of grudging deference to what have been the largest peaceful protests in the country’s history. Nicholas Lemann, The New Yorker, 13 June 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'disempower.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1813, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of disempower was in 1813

Dictionary Entries Near disempower

Cite this Entry

“Disempower.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disempower. Accessed 20 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


dis·​em·​pow·​er dis-im-ˈpau̇(-ə)r How to pronounce disempower (audio)
: to keep one from having authority, power, or influence : make weak or unimportant
disempowerment noun

More from Merriam-Webster on disempower

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