dy·​na·​mo | \ ˈdī-nə-ˌmō How to pronounce dynamo (audio) \
plural dynamos

Definition of dynamo

2 : a forceful energetic individual

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Synonyms for dynamo


fireball, live wire, pistol

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Did You Know?

The dynamo was introduced in 1867 to produce electricity for commercial use. Like all later generators, the original dynamos changed mechanical energy (produced by steam, which was itself produced by burning coal) into electricity. The word is less used today than it once was, since it's often applied only to generators that produced direct electric current (DC) rather than alternating current (AC), which is now the standard. A human dynamo is a person who seems to have unlimited energy.

Examples of dynamo in a Sentence

a dynamo who barely needs to sleep, or so it seems

Recent Examples on the Web

But Jones quickly realized his quickest route to the 53-man rosters was first developing into a special teams dynamo. Kyle Fredrickson, The Denver Post, "Broncos’ rookie Josh Watson eager for NFL preseason debut: “The man wants to hit constantly”," 1 Aug. 2019 The same can be said of the lineup, with Betts serving as a top-of-the-order dynamo. Alex Speier, BostonGlobe.com, "Chris Sale, Mookie Betts showing what they’re capable of," 18 July 2019 The front light is wired to a separate front-hub dynamo, not the battery. Thomas Ricker, The Verge, "Byar Volta is a shaft-driven e-bike that might never need charging," 17 July 2019 The speedster and lifelong offensive dynamo was asked to transition to playing cornerback. David Furones, sun-sentinel.com, "How former FAU standout and ‘Last Chance U’ star John Franklin III is making his mark with Chicago Bears," 2 July 2019 Wide, 47mm tires make transitioning from pavement to unpaved paths easy and fun, while front and rear light, powered by a dynamo in the front hub, and reflective decals on the frame help the rider see and be seen. Bradley Ford, Popular Mechanics, "The Best Commuter Bikes for Any Commute," 16 May 2019 Bridges off the bench gives Phoenix someone who could be defensive dynamo with a scoring punch. Duane Rankin, azcentral, "NBA free agency: Phoenix Suns take small step toward return to playoffs with roster rebuild," 3 July 2019 Then again, some of Byrne’s band members have previously worked with Brazilian music legend Gilberto Gil and West African dynamo Angelique Kidjo, so their flexibility is no surprise. George Varga, sandiegouniontribune.com, "David Byrne performs transcendent San Diego concert before heading to his Coachella performance," 13 Apr. 2018 Canton linebacker Brendan Albert and Mashpee’s all-around dynamo Devaun Ford led the South all-stars to a 21-8 victory over the North on Friday night at Bentley University, respectively earning defensive and offensive MVP honors. Nate Weitzer, BostonGlobe.com, "Canton’s Brendan Albert, Mashpee’s Devaun Ford shine at Shriners," 21 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dynamo.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of dynamo

1882, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for dynamo

short for dynamoelectric machine

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Statistics for dynamo

Last Updated

11 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dynamo

The first known use of dynamo was in 1882

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More Definitions for dynamo



English Language Learners Definition of dynamo

: a machine that produces electricity
informal : someone who has a lot of energy


dy·​na·​mo | \ ˈdī-nə-ˌmō How to pronounce dynamo (audio) \
plural dynamos

Kids Definition of dynamo

1 : generator
2 : an energetic person

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More from Merriam-Webster on dynamo

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dynamo

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dynamo

Spanish Central: Translation of dynamo

Nglish: Translation of dynamo for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about dynamo

Comments on dynamo

What made you want to look up dynamo? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to shake or wave menacingly

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