American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. The physical phenomena arising from the behavior of electrons and protons that is caused by the attraction of particles with opposite charges and the repulsion of particles with the same charge.
- n. The physical science of such phenomena.
- n. Electric current used or regarded as a source of power.
- n. Intense, contagious emotional excitement.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In physics, a name denoting the cause of an important class of phenomena of attraction and repulsion, chemical decomposition, etc., or, collectively, these phenomena themselves. The true nature of electricity is as yet not at all understood; but it is probable that it is not, as was formerly assumed, of the nature of a fluid—either a single fluid, as was supposed by Franklin, or two fluids (positive and negative), as was supposed by Symmer. The word was first used by Gilbert, the creator of the science of electricity, and by him was applied to the phenomena of attraction and repulsion as exhibited when amber (electrum) and some other substances of a similar character were briskly rubbed. Its meaning has been gradually extended to include a large variety of phenomena, among which may be named heating, luminous and magnetic effects, chemical decomposition, etc., together with numerous apparent attractions and repulsions of matter widely differing from those originally noted, but all of which are attributed to a common cause. The subject is usually divided into the two parts of statical or frictional electricity, including the electricity produced by friction and analogous means, the phenomena of which are chiefly statical, and current electricity (also called
voltaic electricity), including that produced by the chemical or voltaic battery and electromagnetic machines, the phenomena of which are mostly dynamical. The form of electricity first discovered was the frictional. The discovery is generally attributed to Thales (sixth century b. c.), who observed that amber, after being rubbed by silk, had the property of attracting light bodies, like bits of paper, bran, etc. It was subsequently discovered that glass, sulphur, resin, and many other bodies gained by friction this same property to a greater or less extent. When electricity is produced by the friction of silk on glass, that of the glass is called vitreousor positive electricity, while that of the silk rubber is called resinousor negative electricity. When produced by the friction of flannel or silk on sealing-wax, that of the wax is negative, and that of the flannel or silk rubber is positive. This distinction, which however, is properly explained as due to a difference of electrical potential (see potential), extends through the whole subject, by whatever means the electricity is produced. It is found universally true that the two kinds of electricity are produced in equal amounts. Besides friction, there are other means of exciting electricity, as pressure between two bodies or sudden fracture (by which means sugar becomes faintly luminous when broken in the dark). If a piece of sealing-wax is broken, the opposite ends will be found to be dissimilarly electrified. This is especially true of the fracture of cleavable minerals, like mica, calcite, etc. Some crystallized bodies become electrified by change of temperature: for example, a crystal of tourmalin, on being slightly warmed, becomes positively electrified at one extremity, and negatively at the other; if cooled, the poles are reversed. (See pyro-electricity.) For the chief means of obtaining a supply of frictional electricity, see electric machine, under electric, and electrophorus. The principal subjects considered under the head of statical electricity are the distribution of electricity over the surface of a conductor, as determined by its shape or the proximity of other electrified bodies (see density); the effect of induction or the production of an electrified state in a neutral body by approaching it to one already electrified, but without contact; the degree of induction, as determined by the nature of the non-conductor or dielectric (see induction, conductor, dielectric); the accumulation of electricity in a condenser, as a Leyden jar (see condenser, and Leyden jar, under jar); the measurement of capacity, potential, quantity, etc. (as with an electrometer); and the phenomena of discharge, as the spark-discharge, which takes place between oppositely electrified bodies when they are brought near together, the brush-discharge, etc. The electricity generated by friction and analogous means is in a state of high potential (see potential), but the quantity, and therefore the amount of electrical energy, is generally small; it has the power of overcoming great resistances and producing violent mechanical effects, as seen in the discharge of a Holtz machine, and still more strikingly in the case of lightning. Frictional electricity has found but few useful applications in the arts. The common means of producing current electricity is the voltaic battery. (See batteryand cell.) Electrical currents may also be obtained by revolving a coil of wire in the space (magnetic field) between the poles of a steel magnet or electromagnet, so as to cut the lines of force between these poles. This principle is made use of in magneto-electric and dynamo-electric machines (see electric) to obtain powerful currents of electricity for practical use. A current may also be produced by soldering together two ends of two bars of different metals, connecting the other ends with a copper wire, and then heating (or cooling) the first point of union. This is called thermo-electricity, and the pair of metals is called a thermo-electrical couple; it is analogous to the voltaic couple, only here the electrical current is obtained at the expense of the heat supplied. (See thermo-electricity.) The principal subjects considered under the head of current electricity are the effects of the current in causing chemical decomposition (see electrolysis, electrometallurgy), in producing heat and light through the resistance of the medium, including the voltaic arc, and in the production of induced currents in a coil of wire, under certain conditions, by the action of another current or a magnet (see induction); the measurement of strength of current (as with a galvanometer or ampere-meter, which see), of electromotive force (as with a volt-meter), and of resistance (as with the electric bridge or ohm-meter), etc. The current electricity produced by the chemical battery or ordinary dynamo-machine differs from the statical electricity of the frictional or induction machine, in that the difference of potentials of the poles, or, in other words, the electromotive force of the current when the poles are connected, is relatively small, while the quantity of electricity is relatively enormously large. Correspondingly, ordinary current electricity has relatively very little power of overcoming a high resistance; no spark is obtained, even from a powerful battery, when the poles are separated by so much as a small fraction of an inch; but the current can do a large amount of work in producing chemical decomposition (as in the electrolysis of water), or mechanically, when transformed by an electric motor. Induced currents, however, as those produced by an induction-coil (which see), may have a very high electromotive force and consequent power of overcoming resistance.
- n. A form of energy usually carried by wires or supplied by batteries used to power machines and computing, communications, lighting, and heating devices.
- n. A form of secondary energy, caused by the behavior of electrons and protons, properly called "electrical energy".
- n. A fundamental attractive property of matter, appearing in negative and positive kinds.
- n. The flow of charge carriers within a conductor, properly called "electric current".
- n. The charge carriers within a conductor, properly called "electric charge".
- n. A class of physical phenomena, related to flows and interactions of electric charge
- n. A field of physical science and technology, concerned with the phenomena of electric charge
- n. Excitement.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Physics) a property of certain of the fundamental particles of which matter is composed, called also
electric charge, and being of two types, designated positive and negative; the property of electric chargeon a particle or physical body creates a force field which affects other particles or bodies possessing electric charge; positive charges create a repulsive force between them, and negative charges also create a repulsive force. A positively charged body and a negatively charged body will create an attractive force between them. The unit of electrical charge is the coulomb, and the intensity of the force field at any point is measured in volts.
- n. any of several phenomena associated with the accumulation or movement of electrically charged particles within material bodies, classified as static electricity and electric current. Static electricity is often observed in everyday life, when it causes certain materials to cling together; when sufficient static charge is accumulated, an
electric currentmay pass through the air between two charged bodies, and is observed as a visible spark; when the spark passes from a human body to another object it may be felt as a mild to strong painful sensation. Electricity in the form of electric current is put to many practical uses in electrical and electronic devices. Lightning is also known to be a form of electric current passing between clouds and the ground, or between two clouds. Electric currents may produce heat, light, concussion, and often chemical changes when passed between objects or through any imperfectly conducting substance or space. Accumulation of electrical charge or generation of a voltage differnce between two parts of a complex object may be caused by any of a variety of disturbances of molecular equilibrium, whether from a chemical, physical, or mechanical, cause. Electric current in metals and most other solid coductors is carried by the movement of electrons from one part of the metal to another. In ionic solutions and in semiconductors, other types of movement of charged particles may be responsible for the observed electrical current.
- n. The science which studies the phenomena and laws of electricity; electrical science.
- n. Fig.: excitement, anticipation, or emotional tension, usually caused by the occurrence or expectation of something unusual or important.
- n. energy made available by the flow of electric charge through a conductor
- n. a physical phenomenon associated with stationary or moving electrons and protons
- n. keen and shared excitement
“I applied for letters patent for my system of communicating intelligence at a distance by electricity, differing in all respects from Messrs. Wheatstone and Cooke's system, invented five years before theirs, and having nothing in common in the whole system but the use of _electricity_ on _metallic conductors_, for which use no one could obtain an exclusive privilege, since this much had been used for nearly one hundred years.”
“The term electricity is derived from the Greek word ηλεκτρον, amber.”
“Furthermore it does not need electricity, which is an important requirement given that disasters usually result in electricity supplies being disrupted, either temporarily or otherwise.”
““It is a new century, and what we call electricity is its God,” wrote the romantic historian Henry Adams from Paris.”
“The biggest draw on our electricity is our ceiling fans, which have been going non-stop during April and May.”
“From the smoky station out of which the train passed the night before, along the slender wire stretched on rough poles at the side of the track, a spark of that mysterious something which we call electricity flashed at the moment he returned the watch to his pocket; and in five minutes 'time, the station-master came out on the platform,”
“From the first breath of flame, burning out the secret of the Dust to the last shadow of the dust -- the breathless, soundless shadow of the dust, which he calls electricity -- the man worships the invisible, the intangible.”
“It is like that subtle something which we call electricity; we can play with it, command it, lead it, neutralise it and die of it, make light and heat with it, or language and sound, kill with it and cure with it, while absolutely ignorant of its nature.”
“For example, here is this mysterious force that we call electricity, which is flashing such light in our homes and through our streets as the world has never known before.”
“And now, before this new manifestation of that form of cosmic vitality which we call electricity,”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘electricity’.
A list of words that are odd or words that I have looked up.
includes words of the "Prodcom list"
I get a charge out of these words.
just for hahas
random scientific terms from a group of one hundred 16-18 year olds to choose 100 words that, in their collective opinion, represent crucial factors and concepts influencing trends in science today...
Very basic words for ESL students.
An excerpt from Jubilate Agno, written by Christopher Smart between 1759 and 1763 during his confinement for "lunacy" at St. Luke's Hospital in Bethnal Green, London.
For I will...
Listening to this as an audio book for the second time. Tim O'Brien uses simple words and phrases to great effect. Very few unfamilar and big words . The writing style reminds me of words from Joh...
A complete list of the red cards (things) from the popular word game.
words that cause death,or defines death.
Words from Willy Wonka.
Looking for tweets for electricity.