Someone who's empowered has the ability or strength to do something legally or legitimately. An empowered student teacher might have been given the authority to grade the class's math tests.
When a person who's in charge grants you permission to run things or make decisions, you can describe yourself as empowered. You're empowered if you are promoted to the captain of your soccer team, for example. As a legal term, empowered signifies true power: a judge is empowered, often deciding whether a defendant will spend his life in prison. Empowered combines the Latin roots in, "in or into," and potere, "powerful."