[ 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.

Nearby words

  1. empoison,
  2. empolder,
  3. emporia,
  4. emporium,
  5. empoverish,
  6. empowerment,
  7. empress,
  8. empressement,
  9. emprise,
  10. emprosthotonos

Origin of empower

First recorded in 1645–55; em-1 + power

Related formsem·pow·er·ment, nounun·em·pow·ered, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for empower

British Dictionary definitions for empower


/ (ɪmˈpaʊə) /

verb (tr)

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

Word Origin and History for empower



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