[ kat-ahy-uhn, -on ]
/ ˈkætˌaɪ ən, -ɒn /
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noun Physical Chemistry.
a positively charged ion that is attracted to the cathode in electrolysis.
any positively charged atom or group of atoms (opposed to anion).
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Origin of cation
1825–35; <Greek katión going down (neuter of katiṓn, present participle of kateînai ), equivalent to kat- cat- + -i- go + -on neuter present participle suffix
OTHER WORDS FROM cationcat·i·on·ic [kat-ahy-on-ik], /ˌkæt aɪˈɒn ɪk/, adjectivecat·i·on·i·cal·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
British Dictionary definitions for cation
/ (ˈkætaɪən) /
a positively charged ion; an ion that is attracted to the cathode during electrolysisCompare anion
Derived forms of cationcationic (ˌkætaɪˈɒnɪk), adjective
Word Origin for cation
C19: from cata- + ion
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
Scientific definitions for cation
[ kăt′ī′ən ]
An ion with net positive charge, having more protons than electrons. In electrolysis, cations migrate to a negatively charged cathode. Compare anion.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.