horse·​pow·​er ˈhȯrs-ˌpau̇(-ə)r How to pronounce horsepower (audio)
: the power that a horse exerts in pulling
: 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
: 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 Only the snarl of the 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 will give away that this wagon’s packing 603 horsepower and 627 lb-ft of yank. Sean Evans, Robb Report, 5 Apr. 2024 The long-range single-motor version will put out 272 horsepower and 253 pound-feet of torque. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, 27 Mar. 2024 It’s powered by a 3-liter Hurricane Twin Turbo 510 engine, promising to deliver 510 horsepower. Eric D. Lawrence, Detroit Free Press, 25 Mar. 2024 New this year is extreme Dark Horse trim which features additional chassis tuning and 500 horsepower. James Raia, The Mercury News, 10 Mar. 2024 Another setting, called PowerShot, increases horsepower by 40 hp for 15 seconds. Boone Ashworth, WIRED, 9 Mar. 2024 In the Navy, the high testers are destined for the nuclear program, cryptology, air-traffic control, and similarly brainy endeavors — but with mental horsepower can come personality quirks and socialization oddities that can be targeted with medication. Luther Ray Abel, National Review, 9 Feb. 2024 The circuit is a cut below the U.S. Cup and Xfinity Series with cars that have lower horsepower, less technology and, most important, less cost to run and operate. John Cherwa, Los Angeles Times, 2 Feb. 2024 They're limited to around 15 horsepower but are more powerful than the numbers would suggest. Rick Barrett, Journal Sentinel, 19 Jan. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'horsepower.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1806, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of horsepower was in 1806

Dictionary Entries Near horsepower

Cite this Entry

“Horsepower.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


horse·​pow·​er ˈhȯr-ˌspau̇(-ə)r How to pronounce horsepower (audio)
: a unit of power equal in the U.S. to 746 watts and nearly equal to the English unit of the same name that equals 550 foot-pounds of work per second

More from Merriam-Webster on horsepower

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