su·​per·​pow·​er | \ ˈsü-pər-ˌpau̇(-ə)r How to pronounce superpower (audio) \

Definition of superpower

1 : excessive or superior power
2a : an extremely powerful nation specifically : one of a very few dominant states in an era when the world is divided politically into these states and their satellites
b : an international governing body able to enforce its will upon the most powerful states

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from superpower

superpowered \ ˈsü-​pər-​ˌpau̇(-​ə)rd How to pronounce superpowered (audio) \ adjective

Examples of superpower in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

China has not been coy about its drive to develop an offensive satellite destruction capability, while Russia has been nothing but clear about its hopes to regain superpower status—on the land and the sea, and in the air and in space. Jeffrey Kluger, Time, "Why Trump's 'Space Force' Won't — and Shouldn't — Happen," 19 June 2018 Winning the presidency should have been its own reward, but that’s not how the childish Gambinos now in charge of a global superpower conduct their family business. Will Bunch,, "How the Trump family sold U.S. foreign policy to the highest bidder | Will Bunch," 20 May 2018 Traditional soccer superpowers teeter on the edge of World Cup elimination while unheralded outsiders dream of knockout round glory. Hayden Bird,, "5 things to know as the World Cup escalates," 25 June 2018 Oddly enough, the first Super-Man was a villain with superpowers who resembled Lex Luthor. Michael Sangiacomo,, "Superman at 80, still fighting for truth, justice and the American way," 15 Apr. 2018 After all, allowing law enforcement officers a warrantless tool of this magnitude gives them something of a superpower. Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, "Supreme Court surveillance opinion nudges us to think nationally, act locally," 24 June 2018 Magic Words: Letting down my guard is a secret superpower. Bess Matassa, Teen Vogue, "Weekly Horoscopes July 16-22," 13 July 2018 In terms of population, player salary, club attendance figures, league TV income; England is a superpower., "Why England's World Cup Campaign Wasn't the Heroic Overachievment the Hype Would Have You Believe," 12 July 2018 Carroll embraces the challenge of rekindling a group that has been a superpower for most of this decade. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, "Seahawks training camp questions: Will Russell Wilson finally have help?," 19 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'superpower.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of superpower

1849, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about superpower

Statistics for superpower

Last Updated

9 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for superpower

The first known use of superpower was in 1849

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for superpower



English Language Learners Definition of superpower

: an extremely powerful nation

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on superpower

What made you want to look up superpower? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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