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[stat-ik] /ˈstæt ɪk/
adjective, Also, statical
pertaining to or characterized by a fixed or stationary condition.
showing little or no change:
a static concept; a static relationship.
lacking movement, development, or vitality:
The novel was marred by static characterizations, especially in its central figures.
Sociology. referring to a condition of social life bound by tradition.
Electricity. pertaining to or noting static electricity.
noting or pertaining to atmospheric electricity interfering with radar, radio, the sending and receiving of wireless messages, etc.
Physics. acting by mere weight without producing motion:
static pressure.
Economics. pertaining to fixed relations, or different combinations of fixed quantities:
static population.
Computers. (of data storage, processing, or programming) unaffected by the passage of time or the presence or absence of power:
A static website contains Web pages with fixed content that does not change as the user interacts with it.
  1. static or atmospheric electricity.
  2. interference due to such electricity.
Informal. difficulty; trouble:
Will your dad give you any static on using the car?
Origin of static
1560-70; < New Latin staticus < Greek statikós, equivalent to sta- (stem of histánai to make stand) + -tikos -tic
Related forms
statically, adverb
nonstatic, adjective
unstatic, adjective
unstatical, adjective
unstatically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for static
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He switched on the power, and static sounded in the dry air.

    Warlord of Kor Terry Gene Carr
  • The static emerging from the speaker thickened, obliterating all other noises.

    The Second Voice Mann Rubin
  • There was a flutter of static and then Quent Miles' voice again.

    Treachery in Outer Space Carey Rockwell and Louis Glanzman
  • "Just a heavy charge of static electricity," replied the doctor.

    The Great Drought Sterner St. Paul Meek
  • There were no crackling atmospherics nor hiss of static, even when he turned the power full on.

    Planet of the Damned Harry Harrison
British Dictionary definitions for static


not active or moving; stationary
(of a weight, force, or pressure) acting but causing no movement
of or concerned with forces that do not produce movement Compare dynamic (sense 1)
relating to or causing stationary electric charges; electrostatic
of or relating to interference in the reception of radio or television transmissions
of or concerned with statics
(sociol) characteristic of or relating to a society that has reached a state of equilibrium so that no changes are taking place
(computing) (of a memory) not needing its contents refreshed periodically Compare dynamic (sense 5)
random hissing or crackling or a speckled picture caused by the interference of electrical disturbances in the reception of radio or television transmissions
electric sparks or crackling produced by friction
See also statics
Derived Forms
statically, adverb
Word Origin
C16: from New Latin staticus, from Greek statikos causing to stand, from histanai to stand, put on the scales
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 static

1640s (earlier statical, 1560s), "pertaining to the science of weight and its mechanical effects," from Modern Latin statica, from Greek statikos "causing to stand, skilled in weighing," from stem of histanai "to make to stand, set; to place in the balance, weigh," from PIE root *sta- "stand" (see stet). The sense of "having to do with bodies at rest or with forces that balance each other" is first recorded 1802. Applied to frictional electricity from 1839.


"random radio noise," 1912, from static (adj.). Figurative sense of "aggravation, criticism" is attested from 1926.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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static in Science
  1. Having no motion; being at rest. Compare dynamic.

  2. Relating to or producing static electricity.

Noun  Distortion or interruption of a broadcast signal, such as crackling or noise in a receiver or specks on a television screen, often produced when background electromagnetic radiation in the atmosphere disturbs signal reception or when there are loose connections in the transmission or reception circuits.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for static

state of the art

adjective phrase

The latest; the very newest and most advanced: Many of the escort services are so state-of-the-art that they make Toner's look primitive

[1967+; found by 1889 in the form present status of the art, which anticipates the modern use]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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static in Technology
static typing, static variable. storage
static random-access memory. World-Wide Web
static content. theory, programming
static analysis.
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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