[ih-lek-tris-i-tee, ee-lek-]


the science dealing with electric charges and currents.
a state or feeling of excitement, anticipation, tension, etc.

Origin of electricity

First recorded in 1640–50; electric + -ity
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for electricity

Contemporary Examples of electricity

  • The billionaire philanthropist tastes the product of a machine that processes human sewage into drinking water and electricity.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Bill Gates Drinks Sewer Water

    Jack Holmes, The Daily Beast Video

    January 7, 2015

  • The carpeting is worn, the furniture is falling apart, and the electricity is out for most of the day.

  • Some of Stone's neighbors, who live between Dotts and 4th Streets in Pennsburg, said their electricity and water had been cut off.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Hunt for Iraq Vet After Killing Spree

    M.L. Nestel

    December 16, 2014

  • Increasingly, as these industries develop, on-site solar and wind is a way of guaranteeing a lower price for electricity.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Solar Powered Ski Lift

    The Daily Beast

    November 24, 2014

  • That year, landfill gas accounted for 9,800 gigawatts of electricity generation, up more than 90 percent from 2003.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Garbage In, Power Out

    The Daily Beast

    November 24, 2014

Historical Examples of electricity

British Dictionary definitions for electricity



any phenomenon associated with stationary or moving electrons, ions, or other charged particles
the science concerned with electricity
an electric current or chargea motor powered by electricity
emotional tension or excitement, esp between or among people
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 electricity

1640s (Browne), from electric + -ity. Originally in reference to friction.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

electricity in Science



The collection of physical effects related to the force and motion of electrically charged particles, typically electrons, through or across matter and space. See also circuit conductor electric potential.
Electric current, or a source of electric current.
A buildup of electric charge. See also static electricity.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

electricity in Culture


A flow of electrical charges, such as electrons, through a conductor.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.