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.

1645–55; em-1 + power

empowerment, noun
unempowered, adjective

1. warrant, commission, license, qualify.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
empower (ɪmˈpaʊə)
1.  to give or delegate power or authority to; authorize
2.  to give ability to; enable or permit

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1650s, used by William Penn in 1690, but the modern popularity dates from 1986; from en- + power.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
The point of her job is to empower, not enable.
There's no way I can empower my self other than with my education and wisdom.
The grades will empower consumers, pure and simple.
We need to empower our people so they can take more responsibility for their
  own lives in a world.
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