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 electric (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

Other Words from electric


electrically \ i-​ˈlek-​tri-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce electric (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

Adjective 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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective General Motors recently brought back the Hummer name on a new GMC Hummer EV electric truck. Peter Valdes-dapena, CNN, 11 May 2022 Now, don't go slapping the Mach 1 nameplate on an electric scooter or make the next GT a return to sedans, okay Ford? K.c. Colwell, Car and Driver, 11 May 2022 While this gracious brick home with the porticoed front porch has any number of appealing design elements, the show-stopper has to be the electric fireplace in the kitchen, with a see-through viewing window at countertop height. Mary Carole Mccauley, Baltimore Sun, 11 May 2022 For locations that may not allow a traditional outdoor grill, this Weber electric grill is the next best thing. Nicole Papantoniou, Good Housekeeping, 11 May 2022 Around town, galleries outside the fair stood out for the electric intimacy of their exhibitions. Alessandra Codinha, Vogue, 11 May 2022 Shares of the electric pickup truck manufacturer are trading at an all-time low. Cliff Pinckard, cleveland, 10 May 2022 But the chemistry between old pro Smart and newcomer Einbinder was so electric that the caliber of the fake comedy ultimately didn’t matter very much. Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone, 10 May 2022 The difference, the people said, is that both Scout vehicles will be fully electric and conceived as off-road vehicles. William Boston, WSJ, 10 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Enlarge / Volta Trucks' Zero has been designed from the ground up as a battery-electric logistics vehicle. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, 5 May 2022 The battery-electric trucks now in production can travel around 350 miles between charging. Russ Wiles, The Arizona Republic, 27 Apr. 2022 Australia already has a naval base in Western Australia that houses its current fleet of diesel-electric submarines. Mike Cherney, WSJ, 7 Mar. 2022 Wider embraced sustainability before most other yacht builders, incorporating a hybrid diesel-electric engine in its first superyacht. Michael Verdon, Robb Report, 28 Feb. 2022 Leave the grilling to the moms this season with this genius electric grill. Kylee Mcguigan, Popular Mechanics, 14 Apr. 2022 Marchfield converted his dad’s normal bike into an electric and then started sourcing his own parts, eventually branding Volton Electric Bicycles in 2012. chicagotribune.com, 5 Apr. 2022 Not Iron Bowl electric, but juiced like few if any September home games since. Chase Goodbread, USA TODAY, 18 Mar. 2022 Biden also signed an executive order calling for making half of the vehicles sold in the U.S. electric by 2030. Harold Maass, The Week, 6 Aug. 2021 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for electric

Time Traveler

The first known use of electric was in 1646

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Dictionary Entries Near electric



electrical degree

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Statistics for electric

Last Updated

13 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Electric.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/electric. Accessed 25 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for electric


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 electric (audio) \

Medical Definition of electric

: of, relating to, or operated by electricity

Other Words from electric

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

More from Merriam-Webster on electric

Nglish: Translation of electric for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of electric for Arabic Speakers


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