from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun 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.
  • noun The physical science of such phenomena.
  • noun Electric current used or regarded as a source of power.
  • noun Intense, contagious emotional excitement.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun 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.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (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 charge on 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.
  • noun 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 current may 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.
  • noun The science which studies the phenomena and laws of electricity; electrical science.
  • noun Fig.: excitement, anticipation, or emotional tension, usually caused by the occurrence or expectation of something unusual or important.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A form of energy usually carried by wires or supplied by batteries used to power machines and computing, communications, lighting, and heating devices.
  • noun A form of secondary energy, caused by the behavior of electrons and protons, properly called "electrical energy".
  • noun A fundamental attractive property of matter, appearing in negative and positive kinds.
  • noun The flow of charge carriers within a conductor, properly called "electric current".
  • noun The charge carriers within a conductor, properly called "electric charge".
  • noun A class of physical phenomena, related to flows and interactions of electric charge
  • noun A field of physical science and technology, concerned with the phenomena of electric charge
  • noun Excitement.

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

  • noun energy made available by the flow of electric charge through a conductor
  • noun a physical phenomenon associated with stationary or moving electrons and protons
  • noun keen and shared excitement


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • "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.

    Samuel F. B. Morse, His Letters and Journals In Two Volumes, Volume II 1831

  • The term electricity is derived from the Greek word ηλεκτρον, amber.

    An Account of Timbuctoo and Housa Territories in the Interior of Africa Abd Salam Shabeeny

  • 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.

    Prize Winners Can Help Response to Natural Disasters Kenny Tang 2010

  • “It is a new century, and what we call electricity is its God,” wrote the romantic historian Henry Adams from Paris.

    American Sketches Walter Isaacson 2009

  • The biggest draw on our electricity is our ceiling fans, which have been going non-stop during April and May.

    electric bill 2006

  • 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,

    Stories by American Authors, Volume 6 Various

  • 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.

    The Voice of the Machines An Introduction to the Twentieth Century Gerald Stanley Lee 1903

  • 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.

    The Witch of Prague 1881

  • 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.

    Our Unitarian Gospel 1879

  • And now, before this new manifestation of that form of cosmic vitality which we call electricity,

    Over the Teacups Oliver Wendell Holmes 1851


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