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 Caylor was early to recognize the changing interests and habits of the consumer, and is wise to empower them with greater access and flexibility. Emily Farra, Vogue, "This Zero-Waste Brand Wants to Reward You for Your Old Clothes," 24 Feb. 2021 But governments are far from worried about piling up debt right now, as rock-bottom interest rates empower them to spare no expense to shield their economies from the pandemic. New York Times, "Europe’s Pandemic Debt Is Dizzying. Who Will Pay?," 17 Feb. 2021 The challenge is designed to inspire students by telling stories about the Black experience in America and empower them through counter-storytelling, which highlights the stories of people whose experiences are not often told. Sam Boyer, cleveland, "Wondering about ordinary things exercises the brain: Whit & Whimsey," 12 Feb. 2021 Local energies may have been sapped for many reasons, yet in the coastal cities that MacGillis visits, Amazon’s disproportionate ability to further enrich and empower already thriving places and workers is glaring. Vauhini Vara, The Atlantic, "The One-Click Curse," 12 Feb. 2021 That makes Boebert a test case for whether even a slight partisan advantage will inevitably empower the most extreme elements of a party. James Anderson And Nicholas Riccardi, Star Tribune, "A fluke or the future? Boebert shakes up Colorado district," 6 Feb. 2021 The natural Meticore ingredients list available here empower this fat-burning product to increase the core body temperature, metabolism, and, as a result, the weight loss process. Daily Health Reports, Chron, "Meticore Reviews (2021 Updated) Diet Pills Supplement with Real Ingredients or Side Effects?," 4 Feb. 2021 But because of what the noise represented. Ford Hamp wanted someone that could communicate, that could empower, that could develop, that could teach, that could share … ideas, strategies, goals. Shawn Windsor, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Lions' Sheila Ford Hamp has a vision. She knows exactly what it sounds like.," 15 Jan. 2021 Wonder Grants aim to support and empower young creatives launching their projects across various fields, including music, film, education, science, environment and technology. Heran Mamo, Billboard, "Shawn Mendes Foundation Announces Wonder Grants to Empower Young Creatives," 15 Dec. 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

4 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Empower.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/empower. Accessed 9 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for empower



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.


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

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