empower

[em-pou-er]
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verb (used with object)
  1. 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.
  2. to enable or permit: Wealth empowered him to live a comfortable life.

Origin of empower

First recorded in 1645–55; em-1 + power
Related formsem·pow·er·ment, nounun·em·pow·ered, adjective

Synonyms for empower

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


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British Dictionary definitions for empower

empower

verb (tr)
  1. to give or delegate power or authority to; authorize
  2. 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
v.

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