- pertaining to, derived from, produced by, or involving electricity: an electric shock.
- producing, transmitting, or operated by electric currents: an electric bell; electric cord.
- electrifying; thrilling; exciting; stirring: The atmosphere was electric with excitement.
- (of a musical instrument)
- producing sound by electrical or electronic means: an electric piano.
- equipped with connections to an amplifier-loudspeaker system: an electric violin.
- an electric locomotive.
- Informal.a railroad operated by electricity.
- electricity: residential users of gas and electric.
- something, as an appliance, vehicle, or toy, operated by electricity.
- Archaic. a substance that is a nonconductor of electricity, as glass or amber, used to store or to excite an electric charge.
- of, derived from, produced by, producing, transmitting, or powered by electricityelectric current; an electric cord; an electric blanket; an electric fence; an electric fire
- (of a musical instrument) amplified electronicallyan electric guitar; an electric mandolin
- very tense or exciting; emotionally chargedan electric atmosphere
- informal an electric train, car, etc
- British informal electricity or electrical power
- (plural) an electric circuit or electric appliances
1640s, first used in English by physician Sir Thomas Browne (1605-1682), apparently coined as Modern Latin electricus (literally “resembling amber”) by English physicist William Gilbert (1540-1603) in treatise “De Magnete” (1600), from Latin electrum “amber,” from Greek elektron “amber” (Homer, Hesiod, Herodotus), also “pale gold” (a compound of 1 part silver to 4 of gold); of unknown origin.
Originally the word described substances which, like amber, attract other substances when rubbed. Meaning “charged with electricity” is from 1670s; the physical force so called because it first was generated by rubbing amber. In many modern instances, the word is short for electrical. Figurative sense is attested by 1793. Electric toothbrush first recorded 1936; electric typewriter 1958.
- Relating to or operated by electricity. Compare electronic.