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

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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 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, "I Showed My 7-Year-Old ‘Jaws’ and I Regret Nothing," 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, "The Alternate Universe Where Facebook Bought Twitter," 6 Mar. 2020 The cruelest twist for the residents of 53206 is that they have been actively disempowered to fight back. Caleb Gayle, The New Republic, "Inside the “Most Incarcerated” Zip Code in the Country," 15 Oct. 2019 They will be used to prop up narratives that disempower black women and women of colour. Kieran Yates, refinery29.com, "Priti Patel’s Meghan Markle Comments Prove She Is A Dangerous Weapon," 14 Jan. 2020 Instead, with engineers now disempowered and management far away in Chicago, the actual building of new planes in Seattle all but stalled. Natasha Frost, Quartz, "The 1997 merger that paved the way for the Boeing 737 Max crisis," 3 Jan. 2020 His values are driving Facebook as the company doubles down on policies that empower demagogues and despots and disempower the rest of us. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "Facebook Is a Right-Wing Company, Part One Million," 18 Dec. 2019 Who could have expected that a branch of government would willingly disempower themselves? Saul Cornell, The New Republic, "Could America’s Founders Have Imagined This?," 20 Dec. 2019 That means tackling complex questions: How to upgrade homes and buildings while not disempowering people? Karen L. Smith-janssen, Marie Claire, "The Architect Behind Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's Green New Deal Has a Plan to Save the Planet—and All of Us," 4 Oct. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of disempower

1813, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for disempower

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The first known use of disempower was in 1813

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Cite this Entry

“Disempower.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disempower. Accessed 24 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for disempower


How to pronounce disempower (audio)

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

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