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[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.
Origin of superpower
1920-25; super- + power
Related forms
superpowered, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for superpower
  • When you learn to program a computer, you acquire a superpower: the ability to make an inanimate object follow your command.
  • We have a population that cannot count on its fingers to ten, and on this we're supposed to be a superpower.
  • Obtaining a feasible nuclear deterrent is about the reasonable way to defend against superpower aggression.
  • Some spiders have another seeming superpower: an ability to adhere to sheer surfaces, even when upside down.
  • The globe has one superpower, and that superpower has to choose to be either a moral superpower or a capitalist superpower.
  • Criminals are using cloud computing to share information and to superpower their hacking techniques.
  • The ability to run on sunlight would certainly be a handy superpower.
  • His superpower is: he can make it to the bathroom on time whenever he likes.
  • They helped make sense of the world as he and his family emigrated from one superpower to the other.
  • It is an enemy with a huge military destructive machine higher in its ability than any other superpower state.
British Dictionary definitions for superpower


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