elec·​tric | \ i-ˈlek-trik How to pronounce electric (audio) , ē-\

Definition of electric

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 or electrical \ i-​ˈlek-​tri-​kəl How to pronounce electrical (audio) , ē-​ \ : of, relating to, or operated by electricity an electric current an electric heater
2 : exciting as if by electric shock an electric performance an electric personality also : charged with strong emotion the room was electric with tension
b : amplifying sound by electronic means used of a musical instrument an electric guitar
4 : very bright electric blue electric orange



Definition of electric (Entry 2 of 2)

1 archaic : a nonconductor of electricity used to excite or accumulate electricity
2 : something (such as a light, automobile, or train) operated by electricity

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Other Words from electric


electrically \ i-​ˈlek-​tri-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce electrically (audio) , ē-​ \ adverb

Did You Know?

The word electric is derived from the Greek word for amber, elektron. It is only in modern times that practical use has been made of electricity, but some electrical phenomena have been known since antiquity. Certain philosophers of ancient Greece found that by rubbing amber with a piece of cloth, they could enable the amber to pick up light objects, such as feathers. In the 17th century, students of natural science began to discover that other natural phenomena were related to the effect of friction on amber.

Examples of electric in a Sentence


The device administers a mild electric shock. It plugs into any electric socket. The electrical cord is damaged. There's a problem with the building's electrical wiring. The pianist gave an electric performance. The atmosphere in the room was electric.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Plan on camping at the electric-wire enclosed campground for $12 per night. Scott Mcmurren, Anchorage Daily News, "Don’t let summer slip away without exploring Alaska’s national parks," 10 Aug. 2019 Yes, Chris Morocco brings his own hand-grinder, electric kettle, and Intelligentsia beans on vacation. Alex Beggs, Bon Appétit, "Make Minty Limeade This Weekend (Tequila Optional)," 10 Aug. 2019 The Arcs found both in Hall and Shorts, who replaced electric Godwin Joe as a sophomore. Matt Goul, cleveland.com, "Brush energized for Year 2 with Edmund Hall: 2019 football camp tour," 9 Aug. 2019 The impacts may be extreme and unprecedented, cutting entire cities off from the electric grid for several days in the worst-case scenarios. J.d. Morris, SFChronicle.com, "‘Absolutely catastrophic’: Northern California braces for more PG&E shut-offs," 9 Aug. 2019 He again was expected to be the electric deep threat outside after posting 41 receptions (with no drops) for 546 yards and four touchdowns in 2018. Nick Moyle, ExpressNews.com, "Observations from the first week of UT football practice," 9 Aug. 2019 As tropical storm Barry roared ashore in Louisiana last month, Entergy Corp. monitored the electric grid using airwaves that have long been reserved for utilities and first responders. Millicent Dent And Stephen Cunningham, Houston Chronicle, "Power and tech giants fight over airwaves space in the U.S.," 9 Aug. 2019 The changing electric and magnetic fields are an electromagnetic wave. Rhett Allain, WIRED, "The Physics of Falling Magnets in Stranger Things Season 3," 9 Aug. 2019 However, a 5,000-watt solar electric array on a roof will generate about 4,800 kilowatt hours per year and prevent 5,760 pounds of carbon dioxide from going into the atmosphere annually, according to Earthruns.org. Martin E. Comas, orlandosentinel.com, "Trees or solar panels? JPMorgan plans to chop 150 trees at Seminole parking lots for solar canopies," 9 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Compressed air would provide the most value on an electric grid dominated by solar, wind and hydropower. Los Angeles Times, "A clean energy breakthrough could be buried deep beneath rural Utah," 8 Aug. 2019 The park has 15 rustic campsites (no electric, $15/night, half are reservable) and a cabin available for rent ($75/night). Chelsey Lewis, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Some of Wisconsin’s best parks are small county and city ones," 27 June 2019 Maybe even one that will convince Schwarzenegger to buy a new electric, instead of having his enormous Hummer and Mercedes G-Wagen converted to run on batteries. Alex Davies, WIRED, "Arnold Schwarzenegger Stars in a New Ad Plugging Electric Cars," 25 June 2019 Two electric, Milwaukee-brand hammers and a concrete saw were stolen June 11 from a work trailer that was parked in the first block of Ravinoaks Lane, police said. chicagotribune.com, "Highland Park police: Thief steals Mercedes that was left unlocked with the car keys inside," 18 June 2019 The Energy Department study of the electric grid says cheap natural gas is the primary culprit behind dozens of coal and nuclear plant closings in recent years. Russell Gold, WSJ, "Minor Market Reforms Are Called Enough to Support Electric Grid," 23 Aug. 2017 The Palace of Westminster, a mostly neo-Gothic building that was completed in 1870, had for years endured rusty plumbing, crumbling stonework and sparking electrics. The Economist, "Parliaments get facelifts; but it is politics that really needs one," 27 July 2019 The electric buzz at the July 7 Astros game at Minute Maid Park became a fevered pitch, as the drawing for the winner of HomeAid Houston’s Project Playhouse took place during the sixth inning on the Concourse level at Section 150. Houston Chronicle, "HomeAid announces winner of Project Playhouse," 21 July 2019 Ford does not currently sell any electric-only vehicles. Chris Isidore And Michael Scaturro Cnn Business, CNN, "Ford and VW set to unveil new details on electric and self-driving cars," 11 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'electric.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of electric


1722, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1646, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for electric


New Latin electricus produced from amber by friction, electric, from Medieval Latin, of amber, from Latin electrum amber, electrum, from Greek ēlektron; akin to Greek ēlektōr beaming sun

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Statistics for electric

Last Updated

13 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for electric

The first known use of electric was in 1646

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More Definitions for electric



English Language Learners Definition of electric

: of or relating to electricity
: operated by electricity
: providing electricity


elec·​tric | \ i-ˈlek-trik How to pronounce electric (audio) \

Kids Definition of electric

1 or electrical\ -​tri-​kəl\ : of or relating to electricity or its use an electric current electrical engineering
2 : heated, moved, made, or run by electricity an electric heater an electric locomotive
3 : giving off sounds through an electronic amplifier an electric guitar
4 : having a thrilling effect The singer gave an electric performance.

Other Words from electric

electrically adverb electrically powered cars


elec·​tric | \ i-ˈlek-trik How to pronounce electric (audio) \
variants: or electrical \ -​tri-​kəl How to pronounce electrical (audio) \

Medical Definition of electric

: of, relating to, or operated by electricity

Other Words from electric

electrically \ -​tri-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce electrically (audio) \ adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on electric

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for electric

Spanish Central: Translation of electric

Nglish: Translation of electric for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of electric for Arabic Speakers

Comments on electric

What made you want to look up electric? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a usually brief trip or an expedition

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