a stationary electric charge built up on an insulating material.
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Origin of static electricity
First recorded in 1875–80
Words nearby static electricity
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021
Scientific definitions for static electricity
Electric charge that has accumulated on an object. Static electricity is often created when two objects that are not good electrical conductors are rubbed together, and electrons from one of the objects rub off onto the other. This happens, for example, when combing one's hair or taking off a sweater. Sudden releases of built-up static electricity can take the form of an electric arc. See Note at electric charge.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Cultural definitions for static electricity
An electrical charge that accumulates on an object when it is rubbed against another object — for example, the spark that jumps from someone's hand to a doorknob after the person has walked across a rug.
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.