horsepower

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horsepower,

unit of powerpower,
in physics, time rate of doing work or of producing or expending energy. The unit of power based on the English units of measurement is the horsepower, devised for describing mechanical power by James Watt, who estimated that a horse can do 550 ft-lb of work per sec; a
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 in the English system of units. It is equal to 33,000 foot-poundsfoot-pound,
abbr. ft-lb, unit of work or energy in the customary English gravitational system; it is the work done or energy expended by a force of 1 pound acting through a distance of 1 foot. It is equal to 1.356 joules.
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 per minute or 550 foot-pounds per second or approximately 746 watts. The term horsepower originated with James Watt, who determined by experiment that a horse could do 33,000 foot-pounds of work a minute in drawing coal from a coal pit.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Horsepower

 

an obsolete subsidiary unit of power. It was first introduced in the 18th century and continues in use in various branches of technology, mainly in automotive engineering. Horsepower is designated as ls. (Russian, loshadinaia sila), PS (German, Pferdestärke), CV (French, cheval-vapeur), and HP or hp (English). In the USSR and certain other countries 1 hp = 75 kilograms-force per m/sec ≈ 735.5 watts (W); in the USA and Great Britain 1 hp = 550 ft.lb/sec ≈ 745.7 W.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

horsepower

[′hȯrs¦pau̇·ər]
(mechanics)
The unit of power in the British engineering system, equal to 550 foot-pounds per second, approximately 745.7 watts. Abbreviated hp.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

horsepower

A unit of power equal to 746 watts.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

horsepower

A measure of mechanical power equal to 550 ft-lb/s or 745.7 watts.
An Illustrated Dictionary of Aviation Copyright © 2005 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved

horsepower

1. an fps unit of power, equal to 550 foot-pounds per second (equivalent to 745.7 watts)
2. a US standard unit of power, equal to 746 watts
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005

horsepower

The power of one horse. With regard to computers, which are clearly not compared to horses, the term is used to refer to speed in general. For example, "that machine has a lot of horsepower" just means that it is fast by comparison to contemporary models. See MHz.
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