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

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

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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 Since then, the Olivers started a nonprofit organization named Change The Ref whose mission is to help end gun violence, promote gun reform, and empower young people, our country’s future leaders. Kyle Spinner, sun-sentinel.com, "Parkland Parents to deliver cookies to NRA symbolizing children killed by gun violence," 20 Dec. 2020 Inez González, who leads MANA de San Diego, said the group’s mission is to empower Latinas through education, leadership development, community service and advocacy. San Diego Union-Tribune, "COVID-19 has affected a high proportion of Latinas, advocates say," 15 Dec. 2020 The company has also partnered with Plastic Bank, a nonprofit whose mission is to empower local communities to pull plastic from the ocean and recycle it for their own use. Adrienne So, Wired, "11 Early Cyber Monday Deals on Earth-Friendly Gear," 28 Nov. 2020 The Shepherd’s Staff is a non-denominational Christian outreach and support center that aims to provide temporary assistance to resolve short-term problems and empower people to seek more permanent solutions for social and economic self-sufficiency. Megan Woodward, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Holiday Hope: The Shepherd’s Staff is ‘blessed beyond measure’ with community support," 27 Nov. 2020 Brumm’s mission is to empower and educate women to trust their innate financial intuition. oregonlive, "Anna Canzano: Inviting your questions about empowering women on money issues," 6 Nov. 2020 The idea behind the new regulations on insurers is to empower patients to become better consumers of health care, thereby helping to drive down costs. NBC News, "New Trump rule requires health plans to disclose costs up front," 29 Oct. 2020 Thus the practical effect of the Court’s decisions has been to empower Congress to bribe the states into accepting Washington’s directions on matters that remain the states’ constitutional responsibility. James L. Buckley, National Review, "Congress v. the Constitution," 17 Oct. 2020 The goal of these measures is to empower victims and protect them from systemic abuses from police, prosecutors and judges. Ashley Luthern, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "'Absurd and unjust': A woman says Milwaukee police violated her rights as a victim and is suing to have her case investigated elsewhere," 6 Oct. 2020

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 2021

Cite this Entry

“Empower.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/empower. Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for empower


How to pronounce empower (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of empower

: to give power to (someone)
: to give official authority or legal power to (someone)


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.
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

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