hy·​dro·​elec·​tric | \ ˌhī-drō-i-ˈlek-trik How to pronounce hydroelectric (audio) \

Definition of hydroelectric

: of or relating to production of electricity by waterpower constructed a hydroelectric power plant at the dam site

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Other Words from hydroelectric

hydroelectrically \ ˌhī-​drō-​i-​ˈlek-​tri-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce hydroelectric (audio) \ adverb
hydroelectricity \ ˌhī-​drō-​i-​ˌlek-​ˈtri-​sə-​tē How to pronounce hydroelectric (audio) , -​ˈtri-​stē \ noun

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The prime component of most hydroelectric systems is a dam. A high dam funnels water downward at high pressure to spin turbines, which in turn drive generators to produce high-voltage electricity. Mountainous countries with rushing rivers can produce the most hydroelectricity. Though hydroelectricity comes from a clean and completely renewable energy source, dams disrupt natural systems in a way that disturbs environmentalists.

Examples of hydroelectric in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The Chinese workers were heading to the site of Dasu Dam, a large hydroelectric gravity dam currently under construction on the Indus River. Sophia Saifi, CNN, 14 July 2021 The renewable energy industry employed about 410,000 people in 2019, including those in the solar, wind, geothermal, hydroelectric, biomass and biofuels industries, according to Burning Glass. CBS News, 6 Apr. 2021 The company also operates approximately 12,000 megawatts of hydroelectric, wind, solar, natural gas and oil generation facilities. Lorraine Mirabella, baltimoresun.com, 24 Feb. 2021 Samantha Gross, director of the Brookings Institution's Energy Security and Climate Initiative, said reliability and flexibility are real considerations, but TVA already has lots of that with its current gas and hydroelectric plants. Travis Loller, ajc, 2 July 2021 When drought sets in, the most acute impact on electricity generation is felt by hydroelectric plants, dams that generate power from nature’s own resources, many of them federally owned and operated. NBC News, 30 June 2021 After power outages in 2001, Brazil committed to building increasingly versatile power systems, diversifying its sources beyond hydroelectric plants. New York Times, 19 June 2021 And everyone needs the water to run hydroelectric power plants that supply much of the state's energy. Adam Beam, Star Tribune, 3 June 2021 Here on Earth, humans power machines mostly by harvesting energy: for example, harvesting the energy of falling water and converting it to electricity in hydroelectric power plants. Xuejian Wu, The Conversation, 17 May 2021

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

1884, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for hydroelectric

International Scientific Vocabulary

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Time Traveler for hydroelectric

Time Traveler

The first known use of hydroelectric was in 1884

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Statistics for hydroelectric

Last Updated

20 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Hydroelectric.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hydroelectric. Accessed 23 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for hydroelectric



English Language Learners Definition of hydroelectric

technical : of or relating to the production of electricity by using machines that are powered by moving water


hy·​dro·​elec·​tric | \ ˌhī-drō-i-ˈlek-trik How to pronounce hydroelectric (audio) \

Kids Definition of hydroelectric

: relating to or used in the making of electricity by waterpower hydroelectric power

More from Merriam-Webster on hydroelectric

Nglish: Translation of hydroelectric for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hydroelectric for Arabic Speakers


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