Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
- (transitive) To give permission, power, or the legal right to do something.
1985, William H. Tench, Safety is no accident:
- Regulations have been made under the Civil Aviation Acts of 1949, 1980 and 1982 which empower Inspectors of Accidents to do these things.
- (transitive) To give someone more confidence and/or strength to do something, often by enabling them to increase their control over their own life or situation.
- John found that starting up his own business empowered him greatly in social situations.
1992, Nick Logan, The Face, page 11-130:
- Musically, what originally attracted me to dance was its shamanist aspects, using natural magic to change people's neurological states and to psychologically empower them.
- (give permission to): ban, bar, forbid, prohibit
- (give confidence to): disempower, dishearten, disspirit
to give permission to
to give confidence and/or strength to