Definitions

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

  • noun A solid electric conductor through which an electric current enters or leaves an electrolytic cell or other medium.
  • noun A collector or emitter of electric charge or of electric-charge carriers, as in a semiconducting device.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A pole of the current from an electric battery or machine which is in use in effecting electrolysis: applied generally to the two ends of an open electric circuit. The positive pole is termed the anode, and the negative pole the cathode.

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

  • noun (Elec.) a conducting object by which electricity is conveyed into or from a solution or other non-metallic conducting medium; esp., the ends of the wires or conductors, leading from source of electricity, and terminating in the medium traversed by the current.

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

  • noun the terminal through which electric current passes between metallic and nonmetallic parts of an electric circuit
  • noun a collector or emitter of electric charge in a semiconducting device

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

  • noun a conductor used to make electrical contact with some part of a circuit

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

The word was coined by the scientist Michael Faraday from the Ancient Greek words ἤλεκτρον (ēlektron, "amber") (from which the word electricity is derived) and ὁδός (hodos, "way").

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