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[em-pou-er] /ɛmˈpaʊ ər/
verb (used with object)
to give power or authority to; authorize, especially by legal or official means:
I empowered my agent to make the deal for me. The local ordinance empowers the board of health to close unsanitary restaurants.
to enable or permit:
Wealth empowered him to live a comfortable life.
Origin of empower
First recorded in 1645-55; em-1 + power
Related forms
empowerment, noun
unempowered, adjective
1. warrant, commission, license, qualify. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for empowered
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Away he posted directly to an attorney's who was empowered to dispose of the land.

  • By means of this he is empowered to assume what form he pleases.

    Imogen William Godwin
  • And to be the right person you must be empowered, according to Lucy.

    Love and Lucy

    Maurice Henry Hewlett
  • My eyes suddenly cleared as if I had been empowered with miraculous vision.

    The O'Ruddy Stephen Crane
  • Mr. Boltay has empowered me to satisfy any claim whatever that may be made upon him.

    A Hungarian Nabob Maurus Jkai
British Dictionary definitions for empowered


verb (transitive)
to give or delegate power or authority to; authorize
to give ability to; enable or permit
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for empowered



1650s, used by Milton, but the modern popularity dates from 1986; from en- (1) + power. Related: Empowered; empowering; empowerment.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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