9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[ih-lek-trik] /ɪˈlɛk trɪk/
pertaining to, derived from, produced by, or involving electricity:
an electric shock.
producing, transmitting, or operated by electric currents:
an electric bell; electric cord.
electrifying; thrilling; exciting; stirring:
The atmosphere was electric with excitement.
  1. producing sound by electrical or electronic means:
    an electric piano.
  2. equipped with connections to an amplifier-loudspeaker system:
    an electric violin.
  1. an electric locomotive.
  2. Informal. a railroad operated by electricity.
residential users of gas and electric.
something, as an appliance, vehicle, or toy, operated by electricity.
Archaic. a substance that is a nonconductor of electricity, as glass or amber, used to store or to excite an electric charge.
Origin of electric
1640-50; < New Latin electricus, equivalent to Latin ēlectr(um) amber (see electrum) + -icus -ic
Related forms
nonelectric, adjective, noun
preelectric, adjective
unelectric, adjective
3. spirited, rousing, dynamic.
3. dull, uninspired, prosaic. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for electric
  • Intrigues are not difficult to find in the world of electric vehicles.
  • electric heaters can heat everything from small parts of a house to an entire building.
  • Not only does this electric venting skylight easily open, but closes automatically once the rain sensor is activated.
  • The electric car is not cost effective and would not exist without government tax subsidies.
  • In a bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and brown sugar until well blended.
  • In electric trains, the braking energy is converted into electricity and fed back into the overhead power supply.
  • With an electric drill fitted with a small bit, create holes at branch tips for a berry effect.
  • Schneider was electric and inspiring, former students say.
  • electric cars could cut greenhouse gas emissions if used properly.
  • Use hand-held or electric hedge shears for this kind of pruning.
British Dictionary definitions for electric


of, derived from, produced by, producing, transmitting, or powered by electricity: electric current, an electric cord, an electric blanket, an electric fence, an electric fire
(of a musical instrument) amplified electronically: an electric guitar, an electric mandolin
very tense or exciting; emotionally charged: an electric atmosphere
(informal) an electric train, car, etc
(Brit, informal) electricity or electrical power
(pl) an electric circuit or electric appliances
Word Origin
C17: from New Latin electricus amber-like (because friction causes amber to become charged), from Latin ēlectrum amber, from Greek ēlektron, of obscure origin
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
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Word Origin and History for electric

1640s, first used in English by physician Sir Thomas Browne (1605-1682), apparently coined as Modern Latin electricus (literally "resembling amber") by English physicist William Gilbert (1540-1603) in treatise "De Magnete" (1600), from Latin electrum "amber," from Greek elektron "amber" (Homer, Hesiod, Herodotus), also "pale gold" (a compound of 1 part silver to 4 of gold); of unknown origin.

Originally the word described substances which, like amber, attract other substances when rubbed. Meaning "charged with electricity" is from 1670s; the physical force so called because it first was generated by rubbing amber. In many modern instances, the word is short for electrical. Figurative sense is attested by 1793. Electric toothbrush first recorded 1936; electric typewriter 1958.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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electric in Science
electric (ĭ-lěk'trĭk) also electrical
Relating to or operated by electricity. Compare electronic.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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