[ man-pou-er ]
/ ˈmænˌpaʊ ər /
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power in terms of people available or required for work or military service: the manpower of a country.



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“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

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Origin of manpower

First recorded in 1860–65; man + power

Definition for manpower (2 of 2)

man power


the power supplied by human physical exertions: an ancient building constructed entirely by man power.
a unit of power, assumed to be equal to the rate at which a person can do mechanical work, and commonly taken as 1/10 (0.1) horsepower.
rate of work in terms of this unit.

Origin of man power

First recorded in 1860–65
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for manpower

British Dictionary definitions for manpower

/ (ˈmænˌpaʊə) /


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

usage for manpower

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