spark gap


noun Electricity.

a space between two electrodes, across which a discharge of electricity may take place.
the electrodes and the space between, considered as a unit: used in ignition systems.

Origin of spark gap

First recorded in 1885–90 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for spark gap

Historical Examples of spark gap

  • An interesting experiment is found in placing a spark-gap in the flame and sending a series of sparks across it.

    Artificial Light

    M. Luckiesh

  • Every time the transmitting table is about to start its forward stroke a powerful spark is produced at the spark-gap.

  • S is the spark-gap between magnesium terminals connected to the outer coats of the Leyden jars.

    A Study of Splashes

    Arthur Mason Worthington

  • Spark-gap, with the hyphen, means the air-gap between the opposed faces of the electrodes in which sparks are produced.

    The Radio Amateur's Hand Book

    A. Frederick Collins

  • "Willie might be listening in," he explained, as the sparks began to leap between the points of his spark-gap.

British Dictionary definitions for spark gap

spark gap


the space between two electrodes across which a spark can jumpSometimes shortened to: gap
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

spark gap in Science

spark gap

A gap in an otherwise closed electric circuit across which a discharge occurs at a prescribed voltage. The discharge often causes ionization of the surrounding gas and thereby very high temperatures, and can be exploited, as in spark plugs, to ignite engine fuel in a combustion chamber.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.