powerhouse

[ pou-er-hous ]
/ ˈpaʊ ərˌhaʊs /

noun, plural pow·er·hous·es [pou-er-hou-ziz for 1; pou-er-hou-siz for 2 ]. /ˈpaʊ ərˌhaʊ zɪz for 1; ˈpaʊ ərˌhaʊ sɪz for 2 /.

Electricity. a generating station.
a person, group, team, or the like, having great energy, strength, or potential for success.

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Origin of powerhouse

First recorded in 1880–85; power + house
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

VOCAB BUILDER

What does powerhouse mean?

A powerhouse is a powerful, forceful, or dominant person, group, or thing.

In a literal sense, a powerhouse is a station or plant that generates electricity. Although it can still be used this way, terms like power plant and power station are much more common. Powerhouse is far more commonly used in the figurative way, especially in context of sports and business.

Example: Because they always win, they can always recruit the best players, which makes them a perennial powerhouse in the conference.

Where does powerhouse come from?

The first records of powerhouse come from around the last quarter of the 1800s, which makes sense, since that was when electrical generation started to become more practical and widespread. The word is simply a combination of power and house, in which house is used as a general word for a building (as opposed to a home where someone lives).

It didn’t take too long for powerhouse to be used in a figurative way for powerful people or things, especially those known for dominating in their field. A company may be considered a powerhouse in its industry, or a country may be described as a manufacturing powerhouse.

Powerhouse is perhaps most often used as a sports cliché. It is often applied to teams that are especially tough to beat or are known for winning year after year.

Did you know ... ?

What are some synonyms for powerhouse?

What are some words that share a root or word element with powerhouse

What are some words that often get used in discussing powerhouse?

How is powerhouse used in real life?

Powerhouse is most often used figuratively, especially in the context of sports.

 

 

Try using powerhouse!

Which of the following words is LEAST likely to describe a powerhouse?

A. weak
B. strong
C. dominant
D. powerful

Example sentences from the Web for powerhouse

British Dictionary definitions for powerhouse

powerhouse
/ (ˈpaʊəˌhaʊs) /

noun

an electrical generating station or plant
informal a forceful or powerful person or thing
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