em·​pow·​er·​ment im-ˈpau̇(-ə)r-mənt How to pronounce empowerment (audio)
plural empowerments
: the act or action of empowering someone or something : the granting of the power, right, or authority to perform various acts or duties
Malcolm X, the eloquent spokesman for black empowerment who, in 1965, was gunned down at the age of 39 in New York city, continues to influence the political, social, and cultural climate of our society.Joe Wood
Therefore, part of the cure for poverty was empowerment—training the residents of a poor neighborhood to organize themselves and learn to get things from the power structure.Nicholas Lemann
: the state of being empowered to do something : the power, right, or authority to do something
Education does not automatically result in women's empowerment, as the social and economic context in which women live can pose overwhelming constraints on their choices.Erin Murphy-Graham
The focus on getting a candidate elected is a way for voters wary of broken promises to gain a sense of empowerment.John Dutton
Amid the uproar, he and his fellow students felt a budding—and maybe false—sense of empowerment.James Graff
Like John Lennon, he brought the idea that through music, empowerment and words, you can really come up with world peace.Wyclef Jean

Examples of empowerment in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The authenticity will give way to empowerment–that’s the goal. Robyn Mowatt, Essence, 12 Sep. 2023 As opposed to mainstream narratives of female empowerment and their sliding scale of access to power and resources, the girl is a far more politically ambivalent state. Alex Quicho, WIRED, 11 Sep. 2023 Although one of the most popular toys ever, Barbie was the subject of intense controversy, seen both as a symbol of female empowerment and as an impossible standard of beauty and femininity. James B. Stewart, New York Times, 8 Sep. 2023 Lizzo’s brand was built on empowerment and acceptance. Elvia Limón, Los Angeles Times, 26 Aug. 2023 The plan will focus on creating guidelines in five priority areas: access to child care and camps; education and enrichment; youth empowerment; engaging activities; and economic and workforce development. Emily Alvarenga, San Diego Union-Tribune, 22 Aug. 2023 But that robust message of female empowerment wasn’t destined to last long, not in international soccer, not with its long history of ignoring women, not paying women equally and not particularly caring about the women’s game. Christine Brennan, USA TODAY, 21 Aug. 2023 Also starring Eddie Marsan, Rich Sommer, and Sebastian De Souza, Fair Play unravels the uncomfortable collision of empowerment and ego. Michaela Zee, Variety, 30 Aug. 2023 Precious follows the journey of a young woman from oppression to empowerment. Christine Giordano, Women's Health, 27 Aug. 2023 See More

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

1651, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of empowerment was in 1651

Dictionary Entries Near empowerment

Cite this Entry

“Empowerment.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/empowerment. Accessed 23 Sep. 2023.

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