- 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
- to decompose by electrolysis.
Also especially British, e·lec·tro·lyse.
Origin of electrolyze
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- 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
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- 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.
- 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.
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.