Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A negatively charged electrode, as of an electrolytic cell, a storage battery, or an electron tube.
  • n. The positively charged terminal of a primary cell or a storage battery that is supplying current.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. the electrode of an electrochemical cell at which reduction occurs
  • n. the electrode through which current flows out of a device or cell (the negative terminal of an electrolytic cell or the positive terminal of a galvanic cell)
  • n. the terminal through which current flows out of a diode when current is in the forward direction regardless of the direction the current is actually flowing

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The part of a voltaic battery by which the electric current leaves substances through which it passes, or the surface at which the electric current passes out of the electrolyte; the negative pole; -- opposed to anode.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The negative pole of an electric current: opposed to anelectrode or anode. Also spelled kathode. Also called catelectrode.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a negatively charged electrode that is the source of electrons entering an electrical device
  • n. the positively charged terminal of a voltaic cell or storage battery that supplies current

Etymologies

Greek kathodos, descent : kat-, kata-, cata- + hodos, way, path.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Ancient Greek κάθοδος (kathodos, "descent, way down"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The only difference between these two cells was that in Lenard's cell the electrons were taken from the cathode by light, whereas on the "3-electrode lamp" the cathode is a white-hot filament capable of sending into the vacuum currents of much higher intensity.

    Philipp Lenard - Biography

  • The same or similar values for the ratio mentioned above have been found for the negative particles with which we are concerned in cathode rays.

    Hendrik A. Lorentz - Nobel Lecture

  • For one thing, the free-moving electrons, with which we are concerned in cathode rays and in some types of Becquerel rays, give rise to many interesting problems.

    Hendrik A. Lorentz - Nobel Lecture

  • In the preface to his book he expressed his intention to relate chemical research to industrial processes and in the same year he reported the results of his work on electrolytic oxidation and reduction, in which he showed that definite reduction products can result if the potential at the cathode is kept constant.

    Fritz Haber - Biography

  • It was known that when an electric discharge passes in a glass tube through a sufficiently rarefied gas, the part facing the cathode is illuminated by a fluorescence on which the shadow of any obstacle placed in front of the cathode is outlined; and that the cathode rays definable in this way, are deflected by the magnetic field, describing a circular trajectory when they are thrown at right angles to a uniform field (Hittorf).

    Jean Baptiste Perrin - Nobel Lecture

  • Most batteries are packaged with both the positive electrode (called the cathode during discharge) and the negative electrode (the anode).

    The Search for Cheaper, Lighter Car Batteries

  • It's hard to remember now, but in the olden days TV sets and computer monitors used a technology called cathode ray tubes.

    Obsolescent Planning

  • The Cornishman also called the cathode-ray oscilloscope a 'crow' - from CRO - and the spectrum analyser a rectum paralyser.

    languagehat.com: SOLDER.

  • The cathode is a portion of a spherical surface of polished aluminium,

    On Laboratory Arts

  • The peculiar ray's, now known as the cathode rays, not only cast a shadow, but are deflected by a magnet, so that the position of the phosphorescence on the sides of the tube may be altered by the proximity of a powerful magnet.

    A History of Science: in Five Volumes. Volume III: Modern development of the physical sciences

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Comments

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  • Where on Earth is WeirdNet #4 coming from? Taking terminal as a synonym, maybe?

    February 9, 2009