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

Synonyms for empower

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

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)

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 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