Watt vs what

Photo of author


Watt and what are two words that are very close in pronunciation and spelling, but have different meanings and are often confused. We will examine the definitions of watt and what, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

A watt is a unit of measure of power, equal to one joule per second. A watt is a measurement of electricity and the rate at which it dissipates or is used. The word watt was derived from James Watt, a Scottish scientist and inventor who is famous for his work on steam engines, among other things. The plural form of watt is watts.

What is a word that is used when requesting more specific information, when requesting a repetition of information, in reference to the full amount of something or as an exclamation. What is used as an interrogative pronoun, an interrogative determiner, an interrogative adverb, a relative pronoun and a relative determiner. The word what is derived from the Old English word hwæt.


The nearly $2 million solar array consists of 3,300 panels and produces up to a million watts, enough electricity to supply as many as 120 homes, said Scott Stevens, Dimension Fabricators’ president. (The Albany Times Union)

When the two nanoscale technologies are combined, a high-efficiency lighting device is produced that is capable of generating in excess of 55 lumens of light output per electrical watt consumed. (Science Daily)

The Dow Jones industrial average closed above 22,000 Wednesday, a record high in what has become one of its longest bull markets in history. (The Washington Post)

What are the best runners on the planet wearing on their feet at the IAAF World Championships in London this week? (British GQ Magazine)