electron

[ih-lek-tron]
noun
1.
Also called negatron. Physics, Chemistry. an elementary particle that is a fundamental constituent of matter, having a negative charge of 1.602 × 10 −19 coulombs, a mass of 9.108 × 10 −31 kilograms, and spin of ½, and existing independently or as the component outside the nucleus of an atom.
2.
Electricity. a unit of charge equal to the charge on one electron.

Origin:
term first suggested in 1891 by Irish physicist G. J. Stoney (1826–1911); electr(ic) + -on (from the names of charged particles, as ion, cation, anion) with perhaps accidental allusion to Greek ḗlektron amber (see electric)

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World English Dictionary
electron (ɪˈlɛktrɒn)
 
n
a stable elementary particle present in all atoms, orbiting the nucleus in numbers equal to the atomic number of the element in the neutral atom; a lepton with a negative charge of 1.602 176 462 × 10--19 coulomb, a rest mass of 9.109 381 88 × 10--31 kilogram, a radius of 2.817 940 285 × 10--15 metre, and a spin of ½
 
[C19: from electro- + -on]

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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

electron
coined 1891, from electric.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

electron e·lec·tron (ĭ-lěk'trŏn')
n.
Abbr. e
A stable subatomic particle in the lepton family having a rest mass of 9.1066 × 10-28 gram and a unit negative electric charge of approximately 1.602 × 10-19 coulomb. Also called negatron.

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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
electron  [%PREMIUM_LINK%]     (ĭ-lěk'trŏn')  Pronunciation Key 
  1. A stable elementary particle in the lepton family having a mass at rest of 9.107 × 10-28 grams and an electric charge of approximately -1.602 × 10-19 coulombs. Electrons orbit about the positively charged nuclei of atoms in distinct orbitals of different energy levels, called shells. Electrons are the primary charge carriers in electric current. Compare positron. See also electromagnetism, elementary particle, ion. See Table at subatomic particle.

  2. A positron or a negatron. See more at negatron.


The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
electron [(i-lek-tron)]

An elementary particle with a negative charge and a very small mass. Electrons are normally found in orbits around the nucleus of an atom. The chemical reactions that an atom undergoes depend primarily on the electrons in the outermost orbits (the valence electrons).

Note: The movement of large numbers of electrons through conductors constitutes an electric current.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
The top floor houses an accelerator that generates high-speed electrons.
Most people learned in school that these particles are atoms, composed of
  neutrons, protons and electrons.
Solar cells work by the action of light on electrons.
Positrons are the antimatter counterpart to electrons.
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