1. to give someone more control over their life or more power to do something
2. to give a person or organization the legal authority to do something
Origin and usage
The word empower comes from the Old French prefix ‘en-‘ meaning ‘in, into’ and the root ‘power’ which comes from the early 1300s, meaning ‘ability, strength, might’. Though the word empower has been used in the past in literary works, its modern usage dates from around 1986.
Empower is a word most often used to describe the act of giving someone more confidence or control, making them feel strong and powerful.
As such, the word empower is a popular choice when naming organizations, companies or products that help people become stronger or more confident in some aspect of their lives. Empower is used around the world in naming fitness gyms and exercise programs, retirement plans, financial institutions or products, energy efficiency schemes, charities and school organizations. The goal of these businesses and products is to give people the tools they need to become empowered, giving them increased faith in themselves and their abilities to tackle physical, mental, social or financial challenges.
The word empower suggests feelings of positivity, strength and bravery in the face of adversity, which makes it ideal for organizations charged with helping people make changes that can improve their lives.
“As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.”
“EarthEcho Expeditions represents the culmination of more than a decade of working with educators and youth from around the world. EarthEcho Expeditions uses the thrill of adventure to inspire and empower a new generation of environmental champions.”
(Philippe Cousteau, Jr.)
enable, entitle, allow, permit, approve
View the full definition in the Macmillan Dictionary.