Atom or group of atoms carrying a positive electric charge, indicated by a superscript plus sign after the chemical symbol. Cations in a liquid subjected to an electric field collect at the negative pole (cathode). Examples include sodium (Na+), calcium (Ca2+), and ammonium (NH+; see ammonia). See also ion; compare anion.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on cation, visit

Seen & Heard

What made you look up cation? Please tell us what you were reading, watching or discussing that led you here.

Get Our Free Apps
Voice Search, Favorites,
Word of the Day, and More
Join Us on FB & Twitter
Get the Word of the Day and More