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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

Examples from the Web for empowered

Contemporary Examples of empowered

Historical Examples of empowered

  • 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.


    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.

British Dictionary definitions for empowered


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 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