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[dahy-nuh-moh] /ˈdaɪ nəˌmoʊ/
noun, plural dynamos.
an electric generator, especially for direct current.
an energetic, hardworking, forceful person.
Origin of dynamo
First recorded in 1882; short for dynamoelectric


variant of dyna-:
Also, dynam-. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for dynamo
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • His researches on the dynamo caused him to devise what he calls an 'harmonic engine.'

  • Here were the principles of the telegraph relay and the dynamo.

    The Age of Invention Holland Thompson
  • The product of the mechanical motion is electricity in the dynamo.

    The Machinery of the Universe Amos Emerson Dolbear
  • The ground carries the electricity back to the dynamo just as a wire would.

    Common Science Carleton W. Washburne
  • But no dynamo ever invented has the power that is centered in the dynamic will of a human being.

  • The fields of the dynamo are now secured in position to the base.

    Electricity for Boys J. S. Zerbe
  • The positive pole of the dynamo should be connected with the positive pole of the accumulatorp.

    Electricity for Boys J. S. Zerbe
British Dictionary definitions for dynamo


noun (pl) -mos
a device for converting mechanical energy into electrical energy, esp one that produces direct current Compare generator (sense 1)
(informal) an energetic hard-working person
Word Origin
C19: short for dynamoelectric machine


combining form
indicating power: dynamoelectric, dynamite
Word Origin
from Greek, from dunamis power
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for dynamo

1882, short for dynamo-machine, from German dynamoelektrischemaschine "dynamo-electric machine," coined 1867 by its inventor, German electrical engineer Werner Siemans (1816-1892), from Greek dynamis "power."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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dynamo in Medicine

dynamo- pref.
Force; energy: dynamogenesis.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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dynamo in Science
An electric generator, especially one that produces direct current. See more at generator.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for dynamo



An energetic, hardworking, forceful person (1890s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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