1. the electrode or terminal by which current enters an electrolytic cell, voltaic cell, battery, etc.
  2. the negative terminal of a voltaic cell or battery.
  3. the positive terminal, electrode, or element of an electron tube or electrolytic cell.


  1. the positive electrode in an electrolytic cell
  2. Also called (esp US): plate the positively charged electrode in an electronic valve
  3. the negative terminal of a primary cellCompare cathode

1834, coined from Greek anodos “way up,” from ana “up” (see ana-) + hodos “way” (see cede). Proposed by the Rev. William Whewell (1794-1866), English polymath, and published by English chemist and physicist Michael Faraday (1791-1867). So called from the path the electrical current was thought to take. Related: Anodic.

  1. The positive electrode in an electrolytic cell, toward which negatively charged particles are attracted. The anode has a positive charge because it is connected to the positively charged end of an external power supply.
  2. The positively charged element of an electrical device, such as a vacuum tube or a diode, to which electrons are attracted.
  3. The negative electrode of a voltaic cell, such as a battery. The anode gets its negative charge from the chemical reaction that happens inside the battery, not from an external source. Compare cathode.

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