electron cloud


: the system of electrons surrounding the nucleus of an atom

Examples of electron cloud in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Normally, the electron cloud prevents the nuclear spin from interacting with anything, which makes for a very stable qubit. John Timmer, Ars Technica, 16 Feb. 2023 The electron cloud will get pulled toward the pen (because they are oppositely charged), and the positive proton will get pushed away. Rhett Allain, Wired, 28 Jan. 2022 However, the effective location of the negative electron cloud is closer to the pen than the proton. Rhett Allain, Wired, 28 Jan. 2022 An atomic clock employs an electric oscillator regulated by an atom’s natural oscillation movement between the positive charge on the nucleus and the surrounding electron cloud. Larry Printz, Ars Technica, 24 June 2020 Impurities can act like a shield in the path of electron clouds, forcing the electrons to scatter. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, 2 Apr. 2020 When two atoms get close together, each one’s electron cloud pushes the other’s around, and sometimes the two atoms start to behave as a unit: a molecule. Sophia Chen, WIRED, 27 Apr. 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'electron cloud.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1920, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of electron cloud was in 1920

Dictionary Entries Near electron cloud

Cite this Entry

“Electron cloud.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/electron%20cloud. Accessed 15 Jun. 2024.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!