su·per·pow·er | \ˈsü-pər-ˌpau̇(-ə)r \

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

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Other Words from superpower

superpowered \ˈsü-pər-ˌpau̇(-ə)rd \ adjective

Examples of superpower in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

All but one of the superpowers have gone: Brazil and Germany, Argentina and Spain are out. Rory Smith, New York Times, "Croatia Digs Deeper, Burying England’s World Cup Dreams," 12 July 2018 Boston Dynamic's various bots have been amassing a series of superpowers. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "MIT's Cheetah 3 Has a Precision Pounce," 5 July 2018 But an Asian World Cup was a bit of a culture shock to many of the conventional superpowers and both host nations thrived in front of their enthusiastic fans., "5 Times Home Support Seriously Counted at the World Cup," 31 May 2018 What’s on screen now, however, is table-setting for events to come, a groaning board of superheroes, a superabundance of undifferentiated superpowers, and an ending that’s more exciting than anything that precedes it. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, "Review: ‘Avengers’ Gets an Incomplete," 25 Apr. 2018 Advertisement With the inclusion of a nefarious company like IGH, Jessica Jones challenges the conventional conception of superpowers as a positive thing., "How Did Jessica Jones Get Her Super Powers?," 9 Mar. 2018 Amanda’s dramatic emotional detachment is a kind of superpower in her merciless, ultra-wealthy world. David Sims, The Atlantic, "Thoroughbreds Is a Slick, Shallow Murder Comedy," 9 Mar. 2018 The fight for Fox is part of a scramble by media, telecom and cable companies to get bigger as technology-industry superpowers disrupt old ways of doing business. Erich Schwartzel, WSJ, "21st Century Fox Agrees to Higher Offer From Disney," 20 June 2018 Superheroes are always unaccountably dodging bullets and getting to the bomb in the nick of time; the greatest superpower of all is being the protagonist and having the writers on your side. Noah Berlatsky, The Verge, "The best superhero stories admit that superheroes are ridiculous," 11 July 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.

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First Known Use of superpower

1849, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

13 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for superpower

The first known use of superpower was in 1849

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English Language Learners Definition of superpower

: an extremely powerful nation

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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).


to reject or criticize sharply

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