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Hyperpower is a neologism created by the French to denote a power that not only has no rival but is orders of magnitude greater than its next closest rival. This term was created specifically to refer to the position of the United States after the end of the Cold War (when the US and the Soviet Union were referred to as superpowers, leaving the terms megapower, ultrapower, and the like still to be coined). It has also been used (retroactively for analogous purposes) to describe the Roman Empire and the British Empire, as well as comparable entities.

While neoconservatives hoped to harness the US's status as a hyperpower to change the world through the promotion of democracy and preemptive war, it appears they may have put the US to on a path to gradually lose the status instead by pursuing unilateral and insular policies, just as Rome did during her latter days, as her overextended military was a major contribution to her ultimate decline. Rampant corruption was another major cause for the decline and fall of Rome. A much better way to maintain one's status as a great power is to invest in one's own country, specifically in mathematical and scientific research, education, infrastructure, and healthcare, namely things that improve the standards of living of the average citizen, rather than things that fulfill the interests or desires of the elite few.

Today, in light of the rapid economic growth of Communist China and India, it is entirely plausible that in the not too distant future, we will be living in a multi-polar world, namely, one with many global powers. No single one will completely dominate world affairs.