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
c : an extremely powerful company, organization, etc. The retailer hoped to become a financial services superpower— Patricia 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

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Other Words from superpower

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

Examples of superpower in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Repurpose negative emotions and focus on your strength superpower. Womensmedia, Forbes, 15 Oct. 2021 He was rejected because his superpower is his ability to pull off his own arms and use them as blunt weapons. James Grebey, Vulture, 6 Aug. 2021 The legend of Popeye -- and the source of his superpower -- long outlasted the character. Gregory Mcnamee, CNN, 1 July 2021 With his economy overly dependent on fossil fuels, and his population showing signs of restiveness, his sole remaining superpower is the disruption of his democratic rivals. New York Times, 15 June 2021 But to him, my superpower was making warm cake appear within minutes. Leslie Anne Tarabella, al, 18 May 2021 In the battlefield of geopolitics, Lithuania versus China is hardly a fair fight — a tiny Baltic nation with fewer than 3 million people against a rising superpower with 1.4 billion. New York Times, 30 Sep. 2021 The swift release of two Canadians after a diplomatic deal ended a standoff over Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, who faced extradition from Canada to the US, is a troubling sign of a new era of superpower confrontation. Stephen Collinson, CNN, 27 Sep. 2021 Biden and other leaders are gathering against a backdrop of disastrous climate change, polarized superpower relations and a pandemic that has worsened the global rich-poor divide. Compiled Democrat-gazette Staff From Wire Reports, Arkansas Online, 22 Sep. 2021

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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The first known use of superpower was in 1849

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Dictionary Entries Near superpower

superposition principle



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Last Updated

19 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Superpower.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Oct. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of superpower

: an extremely powerful nation


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