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

  • n. Chemical change, especially decomposition, produced in an electrolyte by an electric current.
  • n. Destruction of living tissue, especially of hair roots, by means of an electric current applied with a needle-shaped electrode.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. the chemical change produced by passing an electric current through a conducting solution or a molten salt
  • n. the destruction of hair roots by means of an electric current

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act or process of chemical decomposition, by the action of electricity

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The decomposition of a chemical compound, called the electrolyte, into its constituent parts by an electric current.
  • n. In surgery, the destruction of tumors, cicatricial bands, calculi, and other pathological formations by means of the electric current.
  • n. The number of ions set free in a given time is proportional to the strength of the current The current is carried through the electrolyte by the motion of ions possessing electric charges, and the ions of each element carry an unalterable charge of electricity; increase of current therefore involves an increase in the number of ions liberated.
  • n. If the same current be passed simultaneously through several cells in series, containing different electrolytes, the weight of the ions liberated in each cell is equal to the total quantity of electricity conveyed, multiplied by the electrochemical equivalent of the ions of that cell.

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

  • n. (chemistry) a chemical decomposition reaction produced by passing an electric current through a solution containing ions
  • n. removing superfluous or unwanted hair by passing an electric current through the hair root


Introduced by Faraday on the suggestion of the Rev. William Whewell, from electro- + -lysis (“a loosening”). Originally of tumors, later (1909) of hair removal. (Wiktionary)



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