[ ih-lek-trol-uh-sis, ee-lek- ]
/ ɪ lɛkˈtrɒl ə sɪs, ˌi lɛk- /


Physical Chemistry. the passage of an electric current through an electrolyte with subsequent migration of positively and negatively charged ions to the negative and positive electrodes.
the destruction of hair roots, tumors, etc., by an electric current.

Origin of electrolysis

First recorded in 1830–40; electro- + -lysis

Definition for electrolyses (2 of 2)

[ ih-lek-truh-lahyz ]
/ ɪˈlɛk trəˌlaɪz /

verb (used with object), e·lec·tro·lyzed, e·lec·tro·lyz·ing. Physical Chemistry.

to decompose by electrolysis.
Also especially British, e·lec·tro·lyse.

Origin of electrolyze

First recorded in 1825–35; electro- + -lyze

OTHER WORDS FROM electrolyze

e·lec·tro·ly·za·tion, noune·lec·tro·lyz·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for electrolyses

/ (ɪlɛkˈtrɒlɪsɪs) /


the conduction of electricity by a solution or melt, esp the use of this process to induce chemical changes
the destruction of living tissue, such as hair roots, by an electric current, usually for cosmetic reasons

Word Origin for electrolysis

C19: from electro- + -lysis
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

Medical definitions for electrolyses

[ ĭ-lĕk-trŏlĭ-sĭs, ē′lĕk- ]


Chemical change, especially decomposition, that is produced in an electrolyte by an electric current.
Destruction of living tissue, especially that of the hair roots, by means of an electric current applied with a needle-shaped electrode.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Scientific definitions for electrolyses

[ ĭ-lĕk-trŏlĭ-sĭs ]

A process in which a chemical change, especially decomposition, is brought about by passing an electric current through a solution of electrolytes so that the electrolyte's ions move toward the negative and positive electrodes and react with them. If negative ions move toward the anode, they lose electrons and become neutral, resulting in an oxidation reaction. This also happens if atoms of the anode lose electrons and go into the electrolyte solution as positive ions. If positive ions move toward the cathode and gain electrons, becoming neutral, a reduction reaction takes place. Electrolysis is used for many purposes, including the extraction of metals from ores, the cleaning of archaeological artifacts, and the coating of materials with thin layers of metal (electroplating).
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for electrolyses

[ (i-lek-trol-uh-sis) ]

In chemistry, any process that brings about a chemical reaction by passing electric current (see also current) through a material.

notes for electrolysis

The most common form of electrolysis is electroplating, in which a thin coat of metal is deposited on a solid object.
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.