[ soo-per-pou-er ]
/ ˈsu pərˌpaʊ ər /


an extremely powerful nation, especially one capable of influencing international events and the acts and policies of less powerful nations.
power greater in scope or magnitude than that which is considered natural or has previously existed.
power, especially mechanical or electric power, on an extremely large scale secured by the linking together of a number of separate power systems, with a view to more efficient and economical generation and distribution.

Nearby words

  1. superplastic,
  2. superport,
  3. superpose,
  4. superposition,
  5. superposition principle,
  6. superrace,
  7. superrational,
  8. superrealism,
  9. superregeneration,
  10. supersalesman

Origin of superpower

First recorded in 1920–25; super- + power

Related formssu·per·pow·ered, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for superpower

British Dictionary definitions for superpower


/ (ˈsuːpəˌpaʊə) /


an extremely powerful state, such as the US
extremely high power, esp electrical or mechanical
Derived Formssuperpowered, adjective

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 superpower



1944, in geopolitical sense of "nation with great interest and ability to exert force in worldwide theaters of conflict," from super- + power (n.). The word itself is attested in physical senses from 1922.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper