electricity

\ \ [17] The earliest manifestation of electricity was that produced by rubbing amber, and hence the name, based on ēlectrum, Latin for ‘amber’ (which in turn derives from Greek ēlektron). The first evidence of this in a Latin text is in William Gilbert’s De magnete 1600, but by the middle of the century we find the word being used in English treatises, notably Sir Thomas Browne’s Pseudodoxia epidemica 1646. (At this early stage, of course, it referred only to the ability of rubbed amber, etc to attract light bodies, the only property of electricity then known about; it was not until later that the full range of other electrical phenomena came to be included under the term.)

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

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  • Electricity — (from the Greek word ήλεκτρον, (elektron), meaning amber, and finally from New Latin ēlectricus , amber like ) is a general term that encompasses a variety of phenomena resulting from the presence and flow of electric charge. These include many… …   Wikipedia

  • Electricity — E lec*tric i*ty ([=e] l[e^]k*tr[i^]s [i^]*t[y^]), n.; pl. {Electricities} ([=e] l[e^]k*tr[i^]s [i^]*t[i^]z). [Cf. F. [ e]lectricit[ e]. See {Electric}.] 1. (Physics) a property of certain of the fundamental particles of which matter is composed,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • electricity — [ē΄lek tris′i tē; ē lek΄tris′i′tē, ilek΄tris′i tē] n. [see ELECTRIC] 1. a property of certain fundamental particles of all matter, as electrons (negative charges) and protons or positrons (positive charges) that have a force field associated with …   English World dictionary

  • electricity — 1640s (Browne), from ELECTRIC (Cf. electric) + ITY (Cf. ity). Originally in reference to friction …   Etymology dictionary

  • electricity — [n] energized matter, power AC, current, DC, electromagneticism, electron, galvanism, heat, hot stuff*, ignition, juice*, light, magneticism, service, spark, tension, utilities, voltage; concept 520 …   New thesaurus

  • electricity — ► NOUN 1) a form of energy resulting from the existence of charged particles (such as electrons or protons), either statically as an accumulation of charge or dynamically as a current. 2) the supply of electric current to a building for heating,… …   English terms dictionary

  • electricity — noun ADJECTIVE ▪ high voltage, low voltage ▪ mains (BrE) ▪ static ▪ cheap, low cost ▪ …   Collocations dictionary

  • electricity — /i lek tris i tee, ee lek /, n. 1. See electric charge. 2. See electric current. 3. the science dealing with electric charges and currents. 4. a state or feeling of excitement, anticipation, tension, etc. [1640 50; ELECTRIC + ITY] * * *… …   Universalium

  • electricity — n. 1) to generate; induce electricity 2) to conduct electricity 3) static electricity 4) electricity flows * * * [ɪˌlek trɪsɪtɪ] induce electricity static electricity to conduct electricity to generate electricity flows …   Combinatory dictionary

  • electricity — e|lec|tric|i|ty [ ı,lek trısəti, ,ilek trısəti ] noun uncount *** a form of energy that can produce light, heat, and power for machines, computers, televisions, etc.: The machines run on electricity. a supply of electricity Switch off the… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • electricity */*/*/ — UK [ɪˌlekˈtrɪsətɪ] / US / US [ˌɪlekˈtrɪsətɪ] noun [uncountable] a form of energy that can produce light, heat, and power for machines, computers, televisions etc The machines run on electricity. an electricity supply Switch off the electricity… …   English dictionary

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