Etymology
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pow

expression imitative of a punch, shot, collision, etc., by 1881, originally American English (Joel Chandler Harris).

POW (n.)

also P.O.W., initialism (acronym) for prisoner of war, coined 1919 but not common until World War II.

updated on September 29, 2020

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Definitions of pow from WordNet

pow (n.)
a person who surrenders to (or is taken by) the enemy in time of war;
Synonyms: prisoner of war
From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.