superpower

noun

su·​per·​pow·​er ˈsü-pər-ˌpau̇(-ə)r How to pronounce superpower (audio)
1
: excessive or superior power
2
a
: 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
c
: an extremely powerful company, organization, etc.
The retailer hoped to become a financial services superpowerPatricia Sellers
3
: a power or ability (such as the ability to become invisible or to fly) of the kind possessed by superheroes : a superhuman power
The Fantastic Four first appeared in November 1961, originating with four friends who journeyed to space to thwart the Russians from getting there first. They were overwhelmed by a menacing radiation cloud and their molecular structure was altered, giving each of them superpowers.Laura Mattoon D'Amore
The superpower I've always wished for is invisibility, and I chose my vocation accordingly. A novelist gets 140,000 words per one tiny author photo. That's a visibility ratio I can live with.Barbara Kingsolver
superpowered adjective

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Ultimately, the strain will erode Moscow’s status as an energy superpower, according to analysts and former energy officials and executives. Georgi Kantchev, WSJ, 16 Jan. 2023 China’s rise as a global production superpower has further underscored the weaknesses of American manufacturing. Amitrajeet A. Batabyal, Fortune, 13 Jan. 2023 While the once sprawling British empire's authority as a global superpower stood much diminished after the war, its car plants were hot and busy in the 1950s and 1960s, spreading the glory of its manufacturing titans to the far corners of the globe. Jamie Kitman, Car and Driver, 1 Jan. 2023 Since more than 95% of such chips used in China are designed by U.S. semiconductor companies and therefore subject to U.S. export controls, loss of access to U.S. chips puts China’s entire future as an AI superpower in jeopardy. Time, 17 Nov. 2022 The omission of two phrases from his key report to a Communist Party congress exposed his anxieties about an increasingly volatile world where the United States is contesting China’s ascent as an authoritarian superpower. Chris Buckley, BostonGlobe.com, 22 Oct. 2022 The omission of two phrases from his key report to a Communist Party congress exposed his anxieties about an increasingly volatile world where Washington is contesting China’s ascent as an authoritarian superpower. Chris Buckley, New York Times, 22 Oct. 2022 This is how rivalries are born, and No.1 Alabama has a new one after staring down the horns of an oncoming superpower that’s leaving the Big 12 Conference for the SEC. Joseph Goodman | Jgoodman@al.com, al, 10 Sep. 2022 Democratization and changing energy strategy are likely to draw the ire of either neighboring superpower. Ariel Cohen, Forbes, 27 Dec. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

First Known Use

1849, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of superpower was in 1849

Dictionary Entries Near superpower

Cite this Entry

“Superpower.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/superpower. Accessed 4 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

superpower

noun
su·​per·​pow·​er ˈsü-pər-ˌpau̇(-ə)r How to pronounce superpower (audio)
: an extremely powerful nation
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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