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[ih-lek-trohd] /ɪˈlɛk troʊd/
noun, Electricity
a conductor, not necessarily metallic, through which a current enters or leaves a nonmetallic medium, as an electrolytic cell, arc generator, vacuum tube, or gaseous discharge tube.
1825-35; electr- + -ode2
Related forms
interelectrode, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for electrodes
  • electrodes taped to the skin transmit signals to tiny motors that power the fingers.
  • Graphite rods inside the tube function as negative electrodes and host bacteria that stick to the rods' surfaces.
  • They used electrodes to shock silicon wafers with enough electricity to create a silicon vapor.
  • One is a standard battery, in which the whole material of the electrodes acts as a storage medium.
  • Each cell consists of two electrodes separated by an electrolyte, often a polymer gel.
  • Lithium-ion batteries have two electrodes immersed in an electrically conductive solution, called an electrolyte.
  • The patent suggests a pair of electrodes, attached to the skin, for each device.
  • Instead they use materials with lattice structures for both positive and negative electrodes.
  • The patent application also calls for electrodes comprised of metals in the platinum family.
  • It uses electrodes attached to the scalp to measure electrical brain activity.
British Dictionary definitions for electrodes


a conductor through which an electric current enters or leaves an electrolyte, an electric arc, or an electronic valve or tube
an element in a semiconducting device that emits, collects, or controls the movement of electrons or holes
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 electrodes



1834, coined by English physicist and chemist Michael Faraday (1791-1867) from electro- + Greek hodos "way" (see cede) on same pattern as anode, cathode.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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electrodes in Medicine

electrode e·lec·trode (ĭ-lěk'trōd')

  1. A solid electric conductor through which an electric current enters or leaves an electrolytic cell or other medium.

  2. A collector or emitter of electric charge or of electric-charge carriers, as in a semiconducting device.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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electrodes in Science
A conductor through which an electric current enters or leaves a substance (or a vacuum) whose electrical characteristics are being measured, used, or manipulated. Electrodes can be used to detect electrical activity such as brain waves. Terminal points in electrical components such as transistors, diodes, and batteries are electrodes.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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