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 Your steadfast support can empower your partner to actively engage in finding solutions that align with her unique circumstances. Mark Travers, Forbes, 17 Feb. 2024 Navalny brought Russians alienated by Russian politics together and empowered them. Regina Smyth, The Conversation, 16 Feb. 2024 The film’s victory and the powerful charisma of the film’s star Sidney Poitier, empowered to dramatically assert Black dignity and outrage, helped provide the momentum of a movement whose time was clearly overdue. Steven Gaydos, Variety, 16 Feb. 2024 Hernández, like other artists as different from her and from one another as Valerie Jaudon and Merion Estes, empowers decoration in the service of empowering women. Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times, 16 Feb. 2024 As plenty of people in her replies pointed out, a successful white male artist feeling empowered to use that language without so much a thought was well within reason. Marissa R. Moss, Rolling Stone, 15 Feb. 2024 That means keeping taxes and regulations LOW, empowering job creators and unleashing economic freedom to keep quality of life high. Eleanor Dearman, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 15 Feb. 2024 To encourage herself and others, she’s plastered empowering messages on the walls in her office. Faith Karimi, CNN, 14 Feb. 2024 Stakeholder capitalism is about company management being empowered to consider all the company’s stakeholders in their decision making—and having the discretionary power to do so. Peter Vanham, Fortune, 14 Feb. 2024 See More

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 1 Mar. 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

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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