power up

1 of 2


powered up; powering up; powers up

transitive verb

: to cause to operate
power up the computer


2 of 2


pow·​er-up ˈpau̇(-ə)r-ˌəp How to pronounce power-up (audio)
variants or less commonly powerup or power up
plural power-ups also powerups or power ups
: an item in a video game that makes a player's character more effective by enhancing an attribute (such as speed, health, or strength) or conferring an ability
… a bunch of power-ups at your disposal to help overcome the odds, including the Super Bell—which gives you catlike powers and the ability to climb walls.Jon Bitner
You can use the direction keys on your keyboard to navigate Pac-Man through the maze, gobbling up spheres and power ups while avoiding ghosts.Cassidy Ward
After you collect enough gems and level up, you're able to select another weapon or powerup.Kris Holt
: the act of beginning to operate or causing something to operate
Do not use the device if the device requires multiple power-ups prior to going to "ready state" (solid green light) …Contify Life Science News
… on power up, the user will experience the most rapid start-up time ever …Business Wire

Examples of power up in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Then make your way to the food truck to power up before your spin on the ice. Rebecca Deurlein, Forbes, 30 Nov. 2023 That included charger will power up the battery on the Steam Deck OLED a bit faster than the battery on the old LCD model. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, 14 Nov. 2023 Tenants will drive their cars onto a movable metal pallet that will quickly park them underground and power up electric vehicles if the resident plugs it in. Roger Vincent, Los Angeles Times, 25 Sep. 2023 Dominion said its project will be the largest offshore wind farm under development in the U.S. and eventually expected to generate enough electricity to power up to 660,000 homes after completion of construction by late 2026. Wayne Parry, Fortune, 1 Nov. 2023 What’s not as clear is whether Charlo can carry speed and power up to 168 pounds, or whether his experience can meet the moment. Manouk Akopyan, Los Angeles Times, 30 Sep. 2023 This solar power charging bank offers campers two options to power up: a charging cable and solar. Adrienne Jordan, Condé Nast Traveler, 11 Oct. 2023 Together with the current charging stations, drivers will be able to power up every 50 miles between Anchorage and Fairbanks, for the most part. Alex Demarban, Anchorage Daily News, 14 Sep. 2023 To power up your legs, try these three moves from Baptiste: Step ups. Rozalynn S. Frazier, Health, 3 Sep. 2023
In addition to new power-ups and a trippy new mechanic, the game boasts the largest roster of playable characters in Super Mario history. Vulture Editors, Vulture, 20 Oct. 2023 Of the three new standard power-ups, the mushroom that transforms Mario into an elephant is easily the most fun. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, 18 Oct. 2023 Nintendo has a management group that helps keep track of nearly four decades of Mario power-ups. Zachary Small, New York Times, 17 Oct. 2023 The game injects a bit of nostalgia of older games, while providing gamers enough new power-ups, abilities and mechanics to remain fun and exciting after clearing a level. Rudie Obias, Variety, 13 Oct. 2023 The slow and incremental deliveries of older equipment, the officer said, feels like the West has designed a video game, in which power-ups have to be earned. Alex Horton, Washington Post, 12 Oct. 2023 Like Mania, Superstars combines classic 2D side-scrolling with modern Sonic remixes like new power-ups and four-player co-op. Ash Parrish, The Verge, 29 Sep. 2023 Delphi’s course takes about the same amount of time, with a morning of orientation and instruction in power-up, shutdown, and emergency procedures. IEEE Spectrum, 23 Feb. 2015 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'power up.' 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


1970, in the meaning defined above


1979, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of power up was in 1970

Dictionary Entries Near power up

Cite this Entry

“Power up.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/power%20up. Accessed 11 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition

power up

: to cause to operate
power up the computer
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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