power in terms of people available or required for work or military service: the manpower of a country.

Origin of manpower

First recorded in 1860–65; man1 + power Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for manpower

Contemporary Examples of manpower

Historical Examples of manpower

  • There were bolts and rings for the lines when the gun had to be moved by manpower in the field.

  • Communities started to compete for resources (manpower included).

  • Manpower was what finally broke Invader, improbable as it seems.

  • They take the orders, designate raw materials, equipment, manpower.

  • This in the end is still a question of manpower and raw resources.


    John Keith Laumer

British Dictionary definitions for manpower



power supplied by men
a unit of power based on the rate at which a man can work; approximately 75 watts
the number of people available or required to perform a particular functionthe manpower of a battalion


Gender-neutral form: personnel, staff
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 manpower

1855, from man (n.) + power (n.). Proposed in 1824 as a specific unit of measure of power.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper