noun, plural dy·na·mos.

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-: dynamometer.
Also dynam-.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for dynamo

doer, pistol, generator, achiever, fireball

Examples from the Web for dynamo

Contemporary Examples of dynamo

Historical Examples of dynamo

  • 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.

British Dictionary definitions for dynamo


noun plural -mos

a device for converting mechanical energy into electrical energy, esp one that produces direct currentCompare generator (def. 1)
informal an energetic hard-working person

Word Origin for dynamo

C19: short for dynamoelectric machine


sometimes before a vowel dynam-

combining form

indicating powerdynamoelectric; dynamite

Word Origin for dynamo-

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

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

dynamo in Medicine



Force; energy:dynamogenesis.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

dynamo in Science



An electric generator, especially one that produces direct current. See more at generator.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.