will·​pow·​er | \ ˈwil-ˌpau̇(-ə)r How to pronounce willpower (audio) \

Definition of willpower

: the ability to control one's own actions, emotions, or urges Alcoholics can't stop drinking through willpower alone: they need to alter behavior … that triggers the impulse to drink.— James Atlas I'm not talking about facing up to hard work or discipline, as if the problem were faulty willpower or a poor character.— Patricia Hampl also : strong determination that allows one to do something difficult He [Nicolas Sarkozy] … brokered a huge trade deal with China and generally signaled that he could redefine his country through sheer willpower alone. — Bruce Crumley

Examples of willpower in a Sentence

The dessert buffet tested my willpower. He conquered his drinking problem through sheer willpower.
Recent Examples on the Web Lembke believes much of that increase in time is by design — a result of tech companies' deliberate strategies as opposed to a lack of willpower to put down the phone. Alex Pena, CBS News, 5 May 2022 However, willpower alone is not enough to achieve your goals. Womensmedia, Forbes, 22 Apr. 2022 With endless encouragement to shop from all corners of the internet, giving up fast fashion can require considerable willpower. Fedora Abu, refinery29.com, 27 Apr. 2022 The deer were yarded up, inadvertently offering support and willpower to get through the winter. Steve Meyer, Anchorage Daily News, 6 Mar. 2022 Most of our own allies have stepped forward already, but willpower may wane over time. Elliott Abrams, National Review, 3 Mar. 2022 Now, evidence of collapse—an ever-rising toll of avoidable deaths, a medical system pushed past its brink, supply chain breakdowns and shortages of every kind of essential worker—further depletes any remaining dregs of hope and willpower. Marion Renault, The New Republic, 21 Jan. 2022 There are also hurdles presented by my own struggles with self-esteem and willpower. Sarah Todd, Quartz, 5 Jan. 2022 Having established good habits, little to no willpower is required to choose wisely. Katy Milkman, CNN, 29 Nov. 2021 See More

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

First Known Use of willpower

1850, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for willpower

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The first known use of willpower was in 1850

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Dictionary Entries Near willpower

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Statistics for willpower

Last Updated

23 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Willpower.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/willpower. Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for willpower


will·​pow·​er | \ ˈwil-ˌpau̇-ər How to pronounce willpower (audio) \

Kids Definition of willpower

: strong determination It takes willpower to get yourself in shape.

More from Merriam-Webster on willpower

Nglish: Translation of willpower for Spanish Speakers


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