elec·​tric·​i·​ty | \ i-ˌlek-ˈtri-sə-tē How to pronounce electricity (audio) , ē-, -ˈtri-stē\
plural electricities

Definition of electricity

1a : a fundamental form of energy observable in positive and negative forms that occurs naturally (as in lightning) or is produced (as in a generator) and that is expressed in terms of the movement and interaction of electrons
b : electric current or power
2 : a science that deals with the phenomena and laws of electricity
3 : keen contagious excitement could feel the electricity in the room

Examples of electricity in a Sentence

The electricity went off during the storm. an old building with no plumbing or electricity You could feel the electricity in the room.
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Recent Examples on the Web

While electricity has been restored since Hurricane Maria in 2017, the power grid remains fragile, with residents fearing future natural disasters will again imperil hospitals, schools and emergency shelters. Andrew Scurria And Arian Campo-flores, WSJ, "Puerto Rico Picks Bidders for Ailing Power Utility," 20 Jan. 2019 In the 1860s, Scottish mathematical physicist James Clerk Maxwell devised equations joining at the hip the phenomena of magnetism and electricity. Adam Hadhazy, Discover Magazine, "Scientists Hunt for A Seeming Paradox: A Magnet With Only One Pole," 13 Nov. 2018 Japanese design studio Nendo recently showed off a prototype of the Denqul, a hand-crank phone charger for Sugita Ace that powers up a phone, no electricity needed. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Nendo designs an attractive hand-crank phone charger," 12 Nov. 2018 On the one hand, Prince Harry's methodology does make sense; using unnecessary lights wastes electricity. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Even Meghan Markle Is Confused By This Habit of Prince Harry’s," 8 Nov. 2018 In Puerto Rico, the Category 4 Hurricane Maria knocked out communications and left more than 3.5 million residents without power for months while FEMA scrambled to provide food and water and restore electricity. Arelis R. Hernandez, OrlandoSentinel.com, "FEMA admits failures in Puerto Rico disaster response, after-action report reveals," 13 July 2018 San Diego Gas & Electric officials said electricity was eventually restored to about 1,500 of the customers. John Wilkens, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Firefighters battle blazes in Alpine and elsewhere as temperatures soar past 100," 6 July 2018 Lucila Pardo, 96, spent nearly four months in a sweltering nursing home that did not have power and developed bed sores by the time she was moved in early January to another home where electricity had been restored. Danica Coto, chicagotribune.com, "Puerto Rico issues new data on Hurricane Maria deaths," 12 June 2018 The jolt knocked out power to about 14,400 customers, but electricity was restored within hours. Christal Hayes, USA TODAY, "Hawaii volcano: New eruption points allow lava into neighborhoods," 5 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'electricity.' 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 electricity

1646, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Statistics for electricity

Last Updated

13 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for electricity

The first known use of electricity was in 1646

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More Definitions for electricity



English Language Learners Definition of electricity

: a form of energy that is carried through wires and is used to operate machines, lights, etc.
: electric current or power
: a feeling of excitement or tension


elec·​tric·​i·​ty | \ i-ˌlek-ˈtri-sə-tē How to pronounce electricity (audio) \

Kids Definition of electricity

1 : an important form of energy that is found in nature but that can be artificially produced by rubbing together two unlike things (as glass and silk), by the action of chemicals, or by means of a generator
2 : electric current


elec·​tric·​i·​ty | \ i-ˌlek-ˈtris-ət-ē, -ˈtris-tē How to pronounce electricity (audio) \
plural electricities

Medical Definition of electricity

1a : a fundamental entity of nature consisting of negative and positive kinds, observable in the attractions and repulsions of bodies electrified by friction and in natural phenomena (as lightning or the aurora borealis), and usually utilized in the form of electric currents
b : electric current or power
2 : a science that deals with the phenomena and laws of electricity

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More from Merriam-Webster on electricity

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with electricity

Spanish Central: Translation of electricity

Nglish: Translation of electricity for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of electricity for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about electricity

Comments on electricity

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


not to be persuaded, moved, or stopped

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