horse·​pow·​er | \ ˈhȯrs-ˌpau̇(-ə)r How to pronounce horsepower (audio) \

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

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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 The four-wheel-drive version has four motors that sit above the wheels, providing 750 horsepower. The Editors, Outside Online, "The Next-Gen Outdoor Innovations We're Watching," 1 Nov. 2019 Bailey’s mom, Doreen, was glowing with pride as Brandon mingled with his deaf friends who shared his passion for horsepower., "Deaf Car Guy," 17 Oct. 2019 From a more traditional sense, the four motors combine to give the LF-30 536 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. NBC News, "This Lexus concept car can hit 124 mph — and carry your suitcases by drone," 25 Oct. 2019 Like its siblings, it is powered by a 5.2-liter V10 engine, mid-rear mounted and naturally aspirated, that makes 630 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque. Los Angeles Times, "Lamborghini’s 2020 Huracan EVO is a hell of a ride, but maybe not a daily driver," 11 Oct. 2019 With the lowest horsepower of the competitors, Malibu RS fuel economy ratings are 29 mpg city, 36 highway and 32 mpg combined, on 87 octane. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Chevrolet Malibu RS: a mileage maker with blacked-out style," 22 Sep. 2019 The Taycan is equipped with two permanent-magnet motors that together produce 625 horsepower. Russ Mitchellstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Meet Taycan, Porsche’s first all-electric sports car and Tesla’s latest challenger," 4 Sep. 2019 Shelby American still makes such cars, some with even more horsepower than this car. Peter Valdes-dapena, CNN, "Ford's most powerful car can cost nearly $100,000," 28 June 2019 While not much has been said about the 2020 model, reports from Germany have suggested it will be powered by a naturally aspirated (as in non-turbo) engine making 520 horsepower. NBC News, "10 of the most powerful, expensive, exotic new cars at the Frankfurt Motor Show," 13 Sep. 2019

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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Time Traveler for horsepower

Time Traveler

The first known use of horsepower was in 1806

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Statistics for horsepower

Last Updated

1 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Horsepower.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 10 December 2019.

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More Definitions for horsepower


How to pronounce horsepower (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of horsepower

: a unit used to measure the power of engines


horse·​pow·​er | \ ˈhȯrs-ˌpau̇-ər How to pronounce horsepower (audio) \

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).


to state or do over again or repeatedly

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