horse·pow·er | \ ˈhȯrs-ˌpau̇(-ə)r \

Definition of horsepower 

1 : the power that a horse exerts in pulling

2 : a unit of power equal in the U.S. to 746 watts and nearly equivalent to the English gravitational unit of the same name that equals 550 foot-pounds of work per second

3 : effective power intellectual horsepower computing horsepower

Examples of horsepower in a Sentence

an engine with 200 horsepower that architectural firm probably doesn't have the creative horsepower to produce a truly innovative design

Recent Examples on the Web

But the sides that come with most of the Southern menu don’t have the horsepower to keep up, especially the hoppin’ John itself, the namesake union of black-eyed peas and rice. Mike Sutter, San Antonio Express-News, "Review: Get the South out of your mouth at Hoppin’ John," 5 July 2018 Second-generation models now have a seven-speed transmission to improve fuel economy, acceleration, and torque, along with an increase in horsepower from 317 to 390. Emma Jayne Williams, star-telegram, "Nissan Armada full-size SUV has plentyof room for the family, lots of technology," 17 June 2018 Boats are limited to 10 horsepower and a paved ramp provides easy access. Roger Naylor, azcentral, "Cool off this summer at these lakes near Payson," 8 June 2018 The weight loss, coupled with the nine-speed automatic’s gearing and an advanced stop/start system, afford a fuel-economy improvement of 3 mpg on the V-6 model, despite an 8 percent bump in power — to 310 horsepower. Al Haas,, "Roomy three-row SUVs appeal to 'child-raising generation'," 7 June 2018 The escort tugs will have 20 percent more horsepower than the older ones and more ability to stop tankers if needed, officials said. Alex Demarban, Anchorage Daily News, "New oil spill fleet arriving in Prince William Sound as Crowley prepares to exit," 15 Apr. 2018 The cubby notwithstanding, our basic 370Z came with the same V-6 and the same 332 horsepower in pricier editions, and that's been a good thing for the last decade. Daniel Miller,, "Nissan 370Z is a sports car anachronism — a fast one," 30 Mar. 2018 Audi Sport rates the output at 444 horsepower at 6700 rpm, identical to the RS5 coupe. Jens Meiners, Car and Driver, "2019 Audi RS5 Sportback: America First," 29 Mar. 2018 The tunnel uses massive 400 horsepower fans to drive air and create the sensation of free-falling. John Kelly, Washington Post, "That mysterious glass tower on I-270? It spits out used cars. Here’s how.," 17 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'horsepower.' 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 horsepower

1806, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

8 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for horsepower

The first known use of horsepower was in 1806

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English Language Learners Definition of horsepower

: a unit used to measure the power of engines


horse·pow·er | \ ˈhȯrs-ˌpau̇-ər \

Kids Definition of horsepower

: a unit of power that equals the work done in lifting 550 pounds one foot in one second

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Comments on horsepower

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


the setting in which something occurs

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