open circuit


noun Electricity.

a discontinuous circuit through which no current can flow.

Origin of open circuit

First recorded in 1820–30
Related formso·pen-cir·cuit, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for open circuit

Historical Examples of open circuit

  • Then we reason that there is an open-circuit between F and G.

  • The drop or relay controls a local circuit composed of an open-circuit battery and an ordinary vibrating bell.

  • Some forms of wet battery work in the same way as the dry battery, and are used like-wise for open-circuit work.

    The Story of Great Inventions

    Elmer Ellsworth Burns

  • It can be used, therefore, only in "open-circuit" work—such as door-bell circuits, and some forms of fire and burglar alarm.

    The Story of Great Inventions

    Elmer Ellsworth Burns

  • The open-circuit battery is made in many different ways, so we only describe two of the principal ones.

    ABC of Electricity

    William Henry Meadowcroft

British Dictionary definitions for open circuit

open circuit


an incomplete electrical circuit in which no current flowsCompare closed circuit
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

open circuit in Science

open circuit


An electric circuit in which the normal path of current has been interrupted, either by the disconnection of one part of its conducting pathway from another, or by the intervention of an electric component, such as a transistor. Compare closed circuit.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.