Definitions

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

  • n. A stable subatomic particle in the lepton family having a rest mass of 9.1066 × 10-28 grams and a unit negative electric charge of approximately 1.602 × 10-19 coulombs. See Table at subatomic particle.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The subatomic particle having a negative charge and orbiting the nucleus; the flow of electrons in a conductor constitutes electricity.
  • n. Alloys of magnesium and other metals, like aluminum or zinc, that were manufactured by the German company Chemische Fabrik Griesheim-Elektron.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Amber; also, the alloy of gold and silver, called electrum.
  • n. one of the fundamental subatomic particles, having a negative charge and about one thousandth the mass of a hydrogen atom. The electron carries (or is) a natural unit of negative electricity, equal to 3.4 x 10-10 electrostatic units, and is classed by physicists as a lepton. Its mass is practically constant at the lesser speeds, but increases due to relativistic effects as the velocity approaches that of light. Electrons are all of one kind, so far as is known. Thus far, no structure has been detected within an electron, and it is probably one of the ultimate composite constituents of all matter. An atom or group of atoms from which an electron has been detached has a positive charge and is called a cation. Electrons are projected from the cathode of vacuum tubes (including television picture tubes) as cathode rays and from radioactive substances as the beta rays. Previously also referred to as corpuscle, an obsolete term. The motion of electrons through metallic conductors is observed as an electric current. A particle identical to the electron in mass and most other respects, but having a positive instead of a negative charge, is called a positron, or antielectron

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Same as electrum.
  • n. In phys. chew., the definite charge of electricity which is associated with a univalent ion. Sometimes called an atom of electricity. See electricity.
  • n. According to a recent hypothesis, a minute particle detached from an atom of a gas by certain agencies, as when the gas is carrying an electric current.

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

  • n. an elementary particle with negative charge

Etymologies

electr(ic) + -on1.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Ancient Greek ἤλεκτρον (elektron, "amber"). See also electric + -on. (Wiktionary)

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