static electricity


Definition of static electricity

: electricity that consists of isolated motionless charges (such as those produced by friction)

Examples of static electricity in a Sentence

In dry weather, static electricity can cause clothes to cling.
Recent Examples on the Web Amber is the fossilized resin of prehistoric trees; when rubbed, it becomes charged with static electricity. The New Yorker, 29 Nov. 2021 The statesman set out to develop a standard procedure for preparing turkeys with static electricity collected in Leyden jars. Timothy J. Jorgensen, Smithsonian Magazine, 22 Nov. 2021 The Romans also used non-static electricity from torpedo fish, a name for various species of electric ray, to deliver shocks to patients with maladies including headaches and hemorrhoids. The New Yorker, 29 Nov. 2021 Sure enough, when the kite was in the sky, static electricity moved down the wet string as far as the key—but not through the silk ribbon to his body. Timothy J. Jorgensen, Smithsonian Magazine, 22 Nov. 2021 Investigators found that some equipment Jacob used for welding was missing from the home’s garage, including an acetylene tank, which is a highly explosive gas that can be ignited by static electricity if confined in a small space. oregonlive, 19 Nov. 2021 Since plastic is an insulator, the static electricity can build up. Tim Johnson,, 29 Aug. 2021 Whereas some competitors’ masks use static electricity to trap particles, Happy Masks’ product uses a nano-fiber membrane filter that is sewn into the face covering. Daniel Miller, Los Angeles Times, 27 Aug. 2021 The company also received complaints that static electricity could short-circuit its devices. Neil Bedi, ProPublica, 7 Aug. 2021

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

1838, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for static electricity

Time Traveler

The first known use of static electricity was in 1838

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Dictionary Entries Near static electricity


static electricity

static equilibrium

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Statistics for static electricity

Last Updated

1 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Static electricity.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for static electricity

static electricity


English Language Learners Definition of static electricity

: electricity that collects on the surface of something and does not flow as a current and can cause a mild shock if you touch it

More from Merriam-Webster on static electricity Encyclopedia article about static electricity


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