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 What's mostly overlooked is that a huge portion of the coins produced in the world's most populous nation are generated by green energy, specifically hydroelectric plants in the southern provinces. Shawn Tully, Fortune, 25 May 2021 In 1920, the Federal Power Commission (FPC) was established to issue hydroelectric licenses for developing generators. USA Today, 19 May 2021 While the efficiency of similar systems has hovered around 40 to 50 percent, the new system from Hydrostor, a major global leader in building hydroelectric storage, reportedly reaches 60 percent, according to Quartz. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, 3 May 2021 Urban growth, highway expansion, hydroelectric dam construction, mining for gold, and deforestation for cattle ranches and small farms erode the jungle and bring humans and wildlife into ever closer contact. Daniel Grossman, Science | AAAS, 29 Apr. 2021 The water would in turn run through hydroelectric turbines back into larger as an on-demand source of power, even when the sun isn’t shining. Zak Podmore, The Salt Lake Tribune, 19 Apr. 2021 The nuclear, wind, solar, natural gas and hydroelectric assets will be spun off into a new company. Chicago Tribune Staff, chicagotribune.com, 24 Feb. 2021 The task force wants to take over hydroelectric power generation at the dams, which would defray the costs passed on to property owners. Keith Matheny, Detroit Free Press, 19 Nov. 2020 PacifiCorp has been operating the dams under an extension of its expired hydroelectric license for years. Gillian Flaccus, oregonlive, 18 Nov. 2020

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

14 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Hydroelectric.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hydroelectric. Accessed 19 Jun. 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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