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From super- +‎ power.


superpower (countable and uncountable, plural superpowers)

  1. (countable) A sovereign state with dominant status on the globe and a very advanced military, especially the United States or formerly the Soviet Union.
    • 1990 February 5, William Safire, “Staying a Superpower”, in The New York Times[1], →ISSN:
      Our superpower competition will be reunified Germany (perhaps together with its European satellites) and expanding Japan (perhaps allied with China, if they can bring that off).
    • 1999, David Held, Global Transformations: Politics, Economics and Culture, page 97:
      The year 1945 marked the end of Europe's global hegemony and confirmed the US and the Soviet Union as global superpowers.
  2. (countable, fiction) An extraordinary physical or mental ability, especially possessed by a superhero or supervillain.
    • 1994, C. J. Lee, Caldwell Lee the Poet to Be: The Forthright Omnipotence Era[2], Dorrance Publishing Company, →ISBN, page 46:
      Administered in such a way, in that superpowers it assures.
    • 2014, Christina Lauren, Dirty Rowdy Thing[3], Simon and Schuster, →ISBN, page 258:
      This is his superpower, I think. The comic geek always has one, and Oliver's is a poker face that would leave even the Holy Trinity guessing what he's thinking.
    • 2021 December 6, Givinuplol, belugasareneat, “What superpower you would like?”, in[4]:
      If I could have a superpower id[sic] want to be able to teleport. I hate walking and driving gives me headaches.
  3. (obsolete, uncountable) Electricity generated in a large plant that is tied into a regional network, on a larger scale than was common in the early years of commercial electricity production.
  4. (mathematics) A tetration.
    Synonym: power tower
    Antonym: superlogarithm
  5. (uncountable) Excessive or superior power.

Derived terms[edit]



superpower (third-person singular simple present superpowers, present participle superpowering, simple past and past participle superpowered)

  1. (transitive) To give extraordinary powers to.

Further reading[edit]