Oxford Online Dictionary has the following example for the entry "supercharge":

"the engine was supercharged, giving it a output of 420 hp".

I think "a output" is a typo since it's evident that "an output" is grammatical. However, I haven't seen any typo in this dictionary. Given the possibility of having typos is so low, I'd like to ask for confirmation that it is indeed a typo and not another type of pun here.

Please help to verify.

Here's the screenshot for your reference:

Oxford example sentence

Thanks in advance.

  • 3
    It's definitely a typo. 'Output' starts with a vowel sound, so, of course, a preceding indefinite article must be 'an'. Commented Jul 5 at 7:14
  • 1
    Just checking that you're clear on the meaning of "pun," a joke relying on substituting similar words. There isn't really much room for a joke here... Commented Jul 5 at 18:40
  • @AndyBonner, I'm surprised to see such a typo in the dictionary. I've never seen it before. The dictionary WAS almost immaculate to my eye.
    – Kt Student
    Commented Jul 9 at 4:13

1 Answer 1


It should be an output, but there's no mistake.

An engine supplies power. You can also say that it puts out power. The power is then regarded as output. So you're saying that the engine supplies 420 hp..

  • 1
    I'm not sure that the OP was unclear on the meaning of output, just wondering about "a" vs "an." And technically, I guess that means there is a mistake. It's not really a mistake of grammar per se, though; they both do the same job. Commented Jul 5 at 18:41
  • @AndyBonner, I understand the meaning of "output", just wondering about "a" vs. "an". What do you mean by "they both do the same job", do you mean that using either "a" or "an" is ok? (On the other hand, you mentioned that "there is a mistake").
    – Kt Student
    Commented Jul 9 at 4:11
  • Also, the answer sounds controversial in the first sentence: "It should be an output, but there's no mistake", isn't it?
    – Kt Student
    Commented Jul 9 at 4:12
  • 1
    I meant no mistake in the meaning. Yes, it should be "an" output, but that doesn't really impact the meaning of the sentence in any way. Commented Jul 14 at 4:47

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