cathode

[kath-ohd]
|

noun

the electrode or terminal by which current leaves an electrolytic cell, voltaic cell, battery, etc.
the positive terminal of a voltaic cell or battery.
the negative terminal, electrode, or element of an electron tube or electrolytic cell.

Nearby words

  1. cathie,
  2. cathisma,
  3. cathleen,
  4. catho,
  5. cathodal,
  6. cathode dark space,
  7. cathode glow,
  8. cathode ray,
  9. cathode rays,
  10. cathode-ray tube

Origin of cathode

1825–35; < Greek káthodos a way down, equivalent to kat- cat- + hodós way

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cathode


British Dictionary definitions for cathode

cathode

noun

the negative electrode in an electrolytic cell; the electrode by which electrons enter a device from an external circuit
the negatively charged electron source in an electronic valve
the positive terminal of a primary cell
Compare anode

Derived Formscathodal (kæˈθəʊdəl), cathodic (kæˈθɒdɪk, -ˈθəʊ-) or cathodical, adjective

Word Origin for cathode

C19: from Greek kathodos a descent, from kata- down + hodos way

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for cathode

cathode

n.

1834, from Latinized form of Greek kathodos "a way down," from kata- "down" (see cata-) + hodos "way" (see cede). Proposed by the Rev. William Whewell (1794-1866), English polymath, and published by English chemist and physicist Michael Faraday (1791-1867). So called from the path the electric current was supposed to take. Related: Cathodic; cathodal. Cathode ray first attested 1880, but the phenomenon known from 1859; cathode ray tube is from 1905.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for cathode

cathode

[kăthōd′]

The negative electrode in an electrolytic cell, toward which positively charged particles are attracted. The cathode has a negative charge because it is connected to the negatively charged end of an external power supply.
The source of electrons in an electrical device, such as a vacuum tube or diode.
The positive electrode of a voltaic cell, such as a battery. The cathode gets its positive charge from the chemical reaction that happens inside the battery, not from an external source. Compare anode.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.