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[em-pou-er] /ɛmˈpaʊ ər/
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
Related forms
empowerment, noun
unempowered, adjective
1. warrant, commission, license, qualify. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for empowerment
  • The individual is empowered when they utilize personal technology as a tool for empowerment.
  • There have been other solar donations with an eye on empowerment.
  • Being informed gives them some control over their disease-and that feeling of empowerment plays a role in the healing process.
  • Both platforms connect creator and consumer, providing feel-good empowerment to consumers and monetary support for creators.
  • Far be it from me to stand in the way of worldwide educational empowerment.
  • Mining companies are required to fulfil their empowerment responsibilities in order to keep their mining rights.
  • He was of inestimable value to human freedom, empowerment and expression.
  • There's potential gains for privacy and empowerment.
  • In a crowded country, where scarce fertile land is valued as gold, such largesse represented undreamt-of empowerment for the poor.
  • Hundreds of thousands gathered under a brilliant sun and cloudless sky, drunk with empowerment.
British Dictionary definitions for empowerment


the giving or delegation of power or authority; authorization
the giving of an ability; enablement or permission
(in South Africa) a policy of providing special opportunities in employment, training, etc for Black people and others disadvantaged under apartheid


verb (transitive)
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
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Word Origin and History for empowerment



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
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