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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