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

Definition of disempower

transitive verb

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from disempower

disempowerment \ ˌdis-​im-​ˈpau̇(-​ə)r-​mənt How to pronounce disempower (audio) \ 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 Educated people could disempower those with less and keep them in subordinated positions. New York Times, 7 Apr. 2021 Control in the South has a history of leading to rigging the democratic process — from voting rules to district maps — to disempower Black voters. Nicholas Riccardi, ajc, 15 Mar. 2021 Control in the South has a history of leading to rigging the democratic process — from voting rules to district maps — to disempower Black voters. Nicholas Riccardi, BostonGlobe.com, 15 Mar. 2021 Nothing in their voting record—to disempower unions, and pad the bosses’ fortunes—suggest that will change any time soon. Kate Aronoff, The New Republic, 12 Mar. 2021 Empower the projector, and someone disempower the lights. James Lileks, Star Tribune, 14 Feb. 2021 The good news is, that lack of a neutral and trusted third-party arbiter of Who Is Playing Fair also means that Joe Biden does not need to abandon his promise of Unity even if Democrats in the Senate move to disempower the Republican minority. Alex Pareene, The New Republic, 23 Jan. 2021 Scary movies tend to put their protagonists in a position that very young people are familiar with: disempowered, dependent, in the dark. Jason Zinoman, New York Times, 17 Apr. 2020 As time went on, Dorsey would have eventually joined his fellow founders in the Facebook sphere in feeling disempowered and betrayed. Steven Levy, Wired, 6 Mar. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'disempower.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of disempower

1813, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about disempower

Time Traveler for disempower

Time Traveler

The first known use of disempower was in 1813

See more words from the same year

Statistics for disempower

Last Updated

30 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Disempower.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disempower. Accessed 15 Jun. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for disempower



English Language Learners Definition of disempower

: to cause (a person or a group of people) to be less likely than others to succeed : to prevent (a person or group) from having power, authority, or influence

More from Merriam-Webster on disempower

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for disempower


Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Dog Breeds

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!