WILLPOWER meaning and synonyms


willpower (noun)

The word “willpower” is an uncountable noun. In English, we use this noun to describe somebody with strong determination, composure, self-discipline or self-control. It means that a person can meet their long-term goals by resisting or refusing temptations that arise in everyday situations.

Willpower describes the strength of will a person has to accomplish his or her goal or his or her plan, it is a person’s motivation to carry out his or her will. This could be used to refer to somebody’s determination to quit smoking or to stick to a strict diet plan to lose excess weight.

The strength of a person’s willpower can have a positive or negative effect on different areas of the person’s life. For example, a person with a strong willpower is less likely to have substance abuse problems, financial issues or health complications than a person with no willpower or lacking willpower.


Here are some examples of the noun willpower:

  • It takes a lot of willpower to give up smoking cigarettes after twenty years of smoking.
  • He demonstrated great willpower when he decided to stay in the library and study for the upcoming exams rather than going to the party with the rest of his friends.
  • “It took all of my willpower to remain calm and to act quickly when the intruders broke into my home. All I wanted to do was to scream hysterically but I knew that that wouldn’t save me” the homeowner reported to the investigators.
  • George has been dieting for a while now, he has shown great determination and that he has a strong willpower, it is very admirable.


Here is a dialogue using the noun willpower

Max: How is Clare? I haven’t seen her in a few months.
Jean: She’s good, she’s very busy in work but I met her on her lunch break last week and she seems to be very happy.

Max: That’s great to hear. She recently gave up smoking, didn’t she?
Jean: She did for a while but she didn’t have the willpower to go cold turkey. She was smoking when I met her during her lunch break.

Max: That’s a shame, she seemed so determined to finally quit.
Jean: I know but it’s so hard to stay motivated, especially with a stressful job like Clare’s job.

Max: You’re right, I don’t know how she can cope with that job. Hopefully she will have a stronger willpower in the future and finally give up the cigarettes.
Jean: I hope so too!

Other words you can create

It is important to look at the noun “will”, and understand the similarities and differences between “will” and “willpower”. “Will” refers to a person’s ability to make conscious choices.

Remember, we use “willpower” to emphasise the person’s inner strength and motivation to make the right decisions to achieve their personal goals. On the other hand, a person’s ‘will’ to do something is related to their desire to do something.

For example, a student with a strong desire to graduate from college also has a strong will to succeed and graduate his/her course. However, a student who doesn’t care about his/her grades or isn’t interested in the subject they are studying, their will to graduate is weak and it will be harder for them to motivate themselves.

Here are different words we can create with “will”


1. willingness
2. unwillingness


1. willing
2. unwilling
3. wilful


1. willingly
2. unwillingly

Word patterns:

You will often see the verbs below followed by willpower

  • have
  • need
  • take
  • summon
  • test

Here are some examples:

  • It’s not easy for an athlete to become an Olympic medalist. It doesn’t matter how talented they are, if they don’t have willpower they won’t stand a chance.
  • It takes a lot of willpower give up smoking cigarettes for good.
  • “I need to summon the willpower and call me boss to tell her I will be late for the fourth time this week” the employee thought to himself.
  • This challenge will test your willpower.

More for you:
English Vocabulary Dictionary

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