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

Definition of dynamo

2 : a forceful energetic individual

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for dynamo


fireball, live wire, pistol

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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

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 The magnetic fields of Earth, Jupiter, and Saturn are all thought to be created by internal dynamos near their cores. National Geographic, "Bizarre form of hot ice seen on Earth," 8 May 2019 Driven by an internal dynamo process—where swirling superheated material at the core generates electromagnetic currents—the magnetic field flows inward at one of the poles and outward at the other. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, "The New Science of the Sun Will Be Astounding—And Possibly Terrifying," 9 Aug. 2018 Chelsea and Manchester United have both been linked with the Brazilian wing dynamo in the past, and both clubs could look to reinvigorate their interest in his services this summer. SI.com, "Barcelona Full Back Reportedly Offered to Juventus Ahead of Summer Transfer Window," 18 Apr. 2018 Cooper directed the movie and stars as Jackson Maine, a down-and-out country singer who meets struggling artist Ally, played by musical dynamo Lady Gaga. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Does Bradley Cooper Really Sing and Play Guitar in A Star Is Born?," 9 Feb. 2019 Actress and YouTube dynamo Lilly Singh—queen of more than 2 billion views—shoots nine videos a week. Vogue, "Lilly Singh’s “Not a Morning Person” Morning Skin Routine," 10 Sep. 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of dynamo

1882, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for dynamo

short for dynamoelectric machine

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about dynamo

Statistics for dynamo

Last Updated

14 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dynamo

The first known use of dynamo was in 1882

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


a small bunch of flowers

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!