[ kil-uh-wot-ouuhr, -ou-er ]

  1. a unit of energy, equivalent to the energy transferred or expended in one hour by one kilowatt of power; approximately 1.34 horsepower-hours. Abbreviation: kWh, K.W.H., kwhr

Compare Meanings

Click for a side-by-side comparison of meanings. Use the word comparison feature to learn the differences between similar and commonly confused words.

Origin of kilowatt-hour

First recorded in 1890–95

Words Nearby kilowatt-hour Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use kilowatt-hour in a sentence

  • Ten 100-watt light bulbs burning for one hour would use one kilowatt-hour—one kwh.

  • Electricity is usually purchased by the kilowatt hour, and measured by the watt-hour meter (Fig. 160).

    Mechanical Devices in the Home | Edith Louise Allen
  • These electric furnaces produce two or three ounces of nitric acid for each kilowatt-hour of current consumed.

    Creative Chemistry | Edwin E. Slosson
  • Buck Kendall was casting furtive glances at the kilowatt-hour meter.

    The Ultimate Weapon | John Wood Campbell
  • This plant uses local coal and the cost of coal is figured at two mills per kilowatt-hour.

British Dictionary definitions for kilowatt-hour


  1. a unit of energy equal to the work done by a power of 1000 watts in one hour: Symbol: kWh

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

Scientific definitions for kilowatt-hour


  1. A unit used to measure energy, especially electrical energy in commercial applications. One kilowatt-hour is equal to one kilowatt of power produced or consumed over a period of one hour, or 3.6 X 106 joules.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for kilowatt-hour


[ (kil-uh-waht) ]

A unit of energy: the expenditure of one kilowatt of power for one hour. A toaster running for an hour will use about this much energy.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.