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

Essential Meaning of empower

1 : to give power to (someone) seeking changes in the workplace that will empower women
2 : to give official authority or legal power to (someone)

Full Definition of empower

transitive verb

1 : to give official authority or legal power to empowered her attorney to act on her behalf
2 : enable sense 1a … nootropic agents empower the lower amounts of acetylcholine in diseased brains to work overtime …Science News
3 : 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

Synonyms & Antonyms for empower



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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 To be true community advocates, the community should elect and empower the Providence School Board. Bradly J. Vanderstad, BostonGlobe.com, 7 Jan. 2022 Flared skirts and open-sided pants, crop tops, and a dress with a tail are some collection items, created to empower and make anyone feel beautiful, according to Guerra. Tania Navarro, San Diego Union-Tribune, 6 Jan. 2022 Social tokens and NFTs have allowed creators and brands to avoid the costs and intermediation of platforms and empower artists to directly interact with their community. Roger Lee, Forbes, 4 Jan. 2022 As for Ichabod's future plans, the dog and Ellias hope to comfort and empower even more pet lovers with an upcoming children's book. Kelli Bender, PEOPLE.com, 29 Dec. 2021 The shared goal among the educators is to fill the gaps that traditional education tends to leave, and empower viewers to create change. NBC News, 29 Dec. 2021 In the same way that antisocial behavior can darken one’s outlook and diminish self-esteem, the righting of an injustice can uplift and empower. Michael P.h. Stanley, The Christian Science Monitor, 16 Nov. 2021 Fundamentally, this is about establishing trust that will empower you to reach new heights. Aliza Kelly, Allure, 24 Dec. 2021 Allowing that space will encourage and empower them to be their true and authentic selves, knowing that their feedback is sought after and valued. Rolling Stone Culture Council, Rolling Stone, 20 Dec. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'empower.' 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 empower

1648, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for empower

Time Traveler

The first known use of empower was in 1648

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Statistics for empower

Last Updated

15 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Empower.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/empower. Accessed 26 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for empower


em·​pow·​er | \ im-ˈpau̇-ər How to pronounce empower (audio) \
empowered; empowering

Kids Definition of empower

: to give authority or legal power to She empowered her lawyer to act on her behalf.


transitive verb
em·​pow·​er | \ im-ˈpau̇-ər How to pronounce empower (audio) \

Legal Definition of empower

: to give official authority or legal power to no branch of government should be empowered unilaterally to impose a serious penalty— L. H. Tribe

More from Merriam-Webster on empower

Nglish: Translation of empower for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of empower for Arabic Speakers


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