em·​pow·​er im-ˈpau̇(-ə)r How to pronounce empower (audio)
empowered; empowering; empowers

transitive verb

: to give official authority or legal power to
empowered her attorney to act on her behalf
: enable sense 1a
… nootropic agents empower the lower amounts of acetylcholine in diseased brains to work overtime …Science News
: to promote the self-actualization or influence of
The American women's movement has been inspiring and empowering women for nearly 20 years …Ron Hansen
Members of our discipline often envision themselves as agents of social change who try to promote critique of dominant ideologies and empower students to become active participants in the larger political world.Christy Friend

Examples of empower in a Sentence

seeking changes in the workplace that will empower women the federal agency empowered to collect taxes
Recent Examples on the Web The climate law empowered the Loan Programs Office to lend an additional $200 billion to next-generation energy projects, including solar farms, hydrogen plants and lithium mines. Maxine Joselow, Washington Post, 11 July 2024 Feeling invigorated and empowered by this information, Linda decides to claw back some of the time she’s spent doing ‘invisible work’ over the years and do something for herself. Max Goldbart, Deadline, 11 July 2024 But, in a familiar tone, the company said its AI will be personalized for users, good for humanity, and empowering for creators. Kevin Purdy, Ars Technica, 10 July 2024 Increasing access to overhead imagery empowers commanders on the front lines and hobbyists at home to keep tabs on movements halfway across the globe. Colin Demarest, Axios, 10 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for empower 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'empower.' 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

1648, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of empower was in 1648

Dictionary Entries Near empower

Cite this Entry

“Empower.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/empower. Accessed 19 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


em·​pow·​er im-ˈpau̇(-ə)r How to pronounce empower (audio)
: to give official authority or legal power to

Legal Definition


transitive verb
em·​pow·​er im-ˈpau̇-ər How to pronounce empower (audio)
: to give official authority or legal power to
no branch of government should be empowered unilaterally to impose a serious penaltyL. H. Tribe

More from Merriam-Webster on empower

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