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 Feminists and scholars have argued that the choice to undergo plastic surgery is empowering for women, Nhi Lieu said. NBC News, "Playwright who lost mother to plastic surgery malpractice explores impossible Vietnamese beauty standards in solo show," 15 Feb. 2020 Three friends hoping to capitalize on the trend created Yola Mezcal, a brand aimed at women and empowering the ones behind the scenes making it. CBS News, "A mezcal brand founded by three friends is promoting female empowerment and changing the game," 15 Feb. 2020 The Olivers later started a nonprofit organization called Change the Ref, a platform inspired by their son in part to educate and empower youth in the movement to end gun violence. Emily Shapiro, ABC News, "Parkland shooting 2 years later: Remembering the 17 victims of the school massacre," 14 Feb. 2020 With Democrats crying foul over concerns that Barr is empowering Trump to seek revenge on his political rivals, the House Judiciary Committee announced on Wednesday that the attorney general will testify before the panel at the end of March. Caitlin Yilek, Washington Examiner, "Andrew McCabe: 'Absolutely nothing to stop' Trump from ordering political investigations," 13 Feb. 2020 And most of the food was provided by Break Bread, Break Borders, a community organization empowering immigrants and refugees through food catering. Jeremy Hallock, Dallas News, "How a can of date syrup inspired this Iraqi-American Nasher Prize-winning artist," 13 Feb. 2020 Their mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice and empower American Muslims. Madeline Mitchell, Cincinnati.com, "CAIR urges prosecutors to seek ethnic intimidation charge in West Chester Uber driver assault," 11 Feb. 2020 Henderson argues that law, and the legacy of raids as recently as the 1950s, has created a culture of fear that empowers notorious abusers like the polygamous leader Warren Jeffs. Time, "Utah Bill Would Reduce Polygamy From a Felony to an Infraction," 11 Feb. 2020 This job would be to ensure that our company empowers our customers to make secure and frictionless transactions through cutting-edge technology. Quartz India, "Anupam Pahuja on the jobs that will define India’s future," 11 Feb. 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

20 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Empower.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/empower. Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on empower

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for empower

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with empower

Spanish Central: Translation of empower

Nglish: Translation of empower for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of empower for Arabic Speakers

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