Definition of electric in US English:



  • 1Of, worked by, charged with, or producing electricity.

    ‘an electric stove’
    ‘an electric current’
    • ‘Yet for this and any other electronics application, the materials must also be able to carry an electric current.’
    • ‘In yet another room was a small piece consisting of two electric fans with their blades replaced by rods with twists of leaves at the end.’
    • ‘The higher the value is the more electric charge can be stored, thereby indicating that a substance is superior as a condenser material.’
    • ‘The boundaries between grains act like barriers to electric charge carriers, impeding the flow of current.’
    • ‘Liquid crystals are rod shaped molecules that bend light in response to an electric current; the crystals align so that no light can pass through.’
    • ‘In this process, acupuncture needles are placed at selected points and then pulsed with an electric current to stimulate the acupuncture points.’
    • ‘We experience movement of charge in the electric current in wires.’
    • ‘These specifications will allow smooth interface between different systems using electric power lines for audio, video and data networking.’
    • ‘I looked up from where I sat and saw the main electric switch, connecting the house to the outside lines.’
    • ‘Wires are placed on the scalp and the arms or legs are stimulated with a mild electric current.’
    • ‘A first naive picture of an electron - this is not an accurate picture but it's a start - is as a tiny ball with electric charge - which is what flows when a current flows in a wire.’
    • ‘In fact, each ‘window’ is an array of photovoltaic cells that generate electric current when exposed to the light.’
    • ‘The Ministry of Electricity is implementing measures to stabilize the oscillation of electric current in its power lines.’
    • ‘If the distribution of moving electric charge is not symmetric, the magnetic field will also be unsymmetric.’
    • ‘X-ray flares bombard these disks, likely giving them an electric charge.’
    • ‘The film measures the compression force, which is seen in the form of the electric charge of opposite surfaces.’
    • ‘The electric currents passing through the copper tubing in the accelerator produce vast amounts of heat.’
    • ‘We can power the fuel cell using renewable energies to generate hydrogen, and then convert it into electricity to charge the electric car.’
    • ‘These charges include electric traction current and station-leasing charges.’
    • ‘The gravitomagnetic field is created by moving masses, much as magnetic fields are created by moving electric charges.’
    generated by electricity, galvanic, voltaic
    electric-powered, powered by electricity, electrically operated, electrically powered, mains-operated, battery-operated, electrically charged
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    1. 1.1 (of a musical instrument) amplified through a loudspeaker.
      ‘electric bass guitar’
      • ‘A standard electric bass guitar covers over three octaves.’
      • ‘This stripped-down affair featured singer Kelly Jones on acoustic guitar, accompanied by piano, muted electric guitar and electric bass.’
      • ‘The song's detailed arrangement is fleshed out by electric piano, aquatic guitar lines, and exotic percussion.’
      • ‘Becalmed sounds of electric piano, bass, acoustic guitars, and soft trumpet tones appear at a tempo that's so relaxed it's almost asleep.’
      • ‘But it's important to remember that electric guitars and electric pianos were new at the time, and there were new recording techniques.’
    2. 1.2 (of a color) brilliant and vivid.
      ‘images shot through with jagged streaks of electric blue’
      • ‘The colors are electric, the image sharp and crisp.’
      • ‘Otherwise, the colors are electric and the photography really adds to the ambience that the director tries to achieve.’
      • ‘The colors are electric, moving from the eclectic celebration in Times Square to the nightmarish rescue on the George Washington Bridge.’
      • ‘As in Donald Judd's work, Batchelor's electric color and synthetic surfaces are too abstracted to actually refer to a particular source.’
      • ‘Through the visual aid a network of energy-projected controls appeared, surrounding him halfway in a multitude of electric colors.’
  • 2Having or producing a sudden sense of thrilling excitement.

    ‘the atmosphere was electric’
    • ‘The excitement at this game was electric as the spectators shouted and screamed for the young players.’
    • ‘The man who thrilled millions with his devastating body serve, electric change of pace and his supreme skill died last Friday.’
    • ‘By now the atmosphere was electric and the screams of excitement from the fans almost deafening.’
    • ‘In the end, however, it's simply the electric thrill of the music itself that makes this release so essential.’
    • ‘My heart suffered a sudden electric jolt when I realized who had spoken.’
    • ‘The atmosphere on the ship was electric, and that moment gave me a great sense of pride and humility.’
    • ‘I'm now under a dense canopy of bush and the air is suddenly electric with the pulsing of cicadas.’
    • ‘The love in the air was electric and both, even the one whose senses had ceased five years ago, could feel it.’
    • ‘The air was electric as the sell-out crowd waited in excited anticipation to hear the 64-year-old Spaniard sing favourites from Verdi and Wagner.’
    • ‘Through the confusion I felt an electric elation, a sense of the force of life moving swiftly along my entire person.’
    • ‘As the queue grew by the buckets the excitement in the carpark was electric with eager fans ranging from two years all the way up to 70.’
    • ‘Closest to the camera, one young man turns toward another with an electric sense of movement, seemingly oblivious to Lawton's presence.’
    • ‘Mark McColl, at 18, thrilled with electric bursts of pace.’
    • ‘As she leaned back he shifted again, maybe only to get more comfortable, but his knee brushed hers and she felt an electric thrill course through her.’
    • ‘His hands found my throat and his thumbs stroked it in smooth, tantalizing lines that sent electric thrills through my body.’
    • ‘With their unruly instincts and their tingling, uncharted senses, they have an electric effect.’
    • ‘The excitement was almost electric as Claude withdrew a beautiful antique pocket watch from his coat.’
    • ‘The atmosphere has been electric and obviously everyone is excited.’
    • ‘The air was electric - the older generation bursting with excitement with what was going to happen next, and the younger ones bursting with curiosity abut what that something was.’
    • ‘The excitement was electric on that sunny evening as the students of Gallagher House got their spin in the 18 seater bus.’
    tense, charged, electrifying
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  • An electric train or other vehicle.

    • ‘His hand slowly got closer to her arm, she could feel the electric of his touch.’
    • ‘They had a boat, a 130 ft Japanese diesel electric with holes and without handrails.’
    • ‘I used an electric for years since I always had problems with blades especially on my neck.’
    • ‘Though an electric could be as beautiful as an acoustic, Pixie intended to play the less beautiful songs today.’
    • ‘The battery-operated brush whirls like an electric at close to a manual toothbrush price.’
    • ‘I will never, ever have an electric if I can avoid it.’
    • ‘She traded it for my first electric - some sort of strat copy - and the assistant at the shop totally ripped her off.’


Mid 17th century: from modern Latin electricus, from Latin electrum ‘amber’, from Greek ēlektron (because rubbing amber causes electrostatic phenomena).