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 Think of static electricity, which is an electric charge often produced by friction. Kenneth Mcleod, The Conversation, "Magnetic induction cooking can cut your kitchen’s carbon footprint," 23 Dec. 2020 Users with fine hair often have a problem with static electricity, creating frizziness and fly-away strands. Michael Pollick,, "The best hair-thickening shampoo," 9 Oct. 2020 The distance traveled depends on humidity levels, wafting currents, temperature, and static electricity. National Geographic, "What 'airborne coronavirus' means, and how to protect yourself," 11 Aug. 2020 Static dissipative properties, to reduce the accumulation of excess static electricity. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "The 10 Best Work Boots for Any Type of Job," 19 Aug. 2020 What’s more, the filters actively attract particles via static electricity. Alexandra Ossola, Quartz, "You don’t need fancy air filter systems to reduce Covid-19 risk," 18 Aug. 2020 That’s sort of what’s happening with the balloon and wool: Rubbing the balloon builds up a negative charge, which creates static electricity. Rebecca Renner, National Geographic, "Don’t let children just watch the weather—have them create it instead.," 10 June 2020 What to do: Blow up the balloon and have your kid rub it against the wool or their hair to build up static electricity. Rebecca Renner, National Geographic, "Don’t let children just watch the weather—have them create it instead.," 10 June 2020 The phenomenon occurs when certain materials that rub against each are pried apart, akin to how static electricity is generated. Anne Quito, Quartz Africa, "Researchers are sitting on tech that could transform trees into power generators," 11 Mar. 2020

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

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The first known use of static electricity was in 1838

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Statistics for static electricity

Last Updated

31 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Static electricity.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jan. 2021.

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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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