Quiz: Remember the definition of mal de mer?


[ih-lek-trit] /ɪˈlɛk trɪt/
noun, Electricity
a dielectric that possesses a permanent or semipermanent electric polarity, analogous to a permanent magnet.
1880-85; electr(icity) + (magn)et Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for electret
  • electret filters use electrically charged media to attract particles.
  • In contrast to the electrostatically enhanced filter, electret media are permanently charged in the course of manufacturing.
  • There are two types of condenser microphones: conventional and electret.
  • The electret microphone revolutionized the microphone industry, with almost one billion manufactured each year.
British Dictionary definitions for electret


a permanently polarized dielectric material; its electric field is similar to the magnetic field of a permanent magnet
Word Origin
C20: from electr(icity + magn)et
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
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Article for electret

material that retains its electric polarization after being subjected to a strong electric field. The positive charge within the material becomes permanently displaced in the direction of the field, and the negative charge becomes permanently displaced in the direction opposite to the field. One end of the electret is somewhat positive, and the other is somewhat negative, though the net charge remains zero. Electrets are prepared from certain waxes, plastics, and ceramics, the individual molecules of which are permanently polarized but are randomly arranged before being subjected to an electric field so that there is no overall polarization in the material. The strong electric field (approximately 1,000,000 volts per metre) rotates the polar molecules into an alignment that persists when the external field is removed. Sometimes electrets are made by allowing a molten material to solidify in a strong electric field.

Learn more about electret with a free trial on
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for electret

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for electret

Scrabble Words With Friends