- to give or delegate power or authority to; authorize
- to give ability to; enable or permit
WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2019
- to give official or legal power or authority to:[~ + object + to + verb]The police are empowered to arrest suspected criminals.
- to provide with an ability;
enable:[~ + object]Some teachers want to empower their students by giving them the skills they need.
- to give power or authority to;
authorize, esp. 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.
- em-1 + power 1645–55
- 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged . warrant, commission, license, qualify.