/ ɪˈlektrɪk; NAmE / adjective , noun
[ usually before noun ] connected with electricity; using, produced by or producing electricity :
an electric motor
an electric light / guitar, etc.
an electric current / charge
an electric generator
an electric plug / socket / switch (= that carries electricity)
—see also electric shock , electrical storm
full of excitement; making people excited
SYN electrifying :
The atmosphere was electric.
[ U ] ( informal ) used to refer to the supply of electricity to a building :
The electric will be off tomorrow.
I've paid the electric (= the bill for the supply of electricity) .
electric / electrical
These adjectives are frequently used with the following nouns:
| electric ~ | electrical ~ |
| light | equipment |
| guitar | wiring |
| drill | signal |
| chair | engineer |
| shock | shock |
Electric is usually used to describe something that uses or produces electricity. You use electrical with more general nouns such as equipment and wiring and things that are concerned with electricity:
an electrical fault
. However, the distinction is not always so clear now:
an electric / electrical company
an electric / electrical current
an electric / electrical shock
mid 17th cent.: from modern Latin electricus , from Latin electrum amber, from Greek ēlektron (because rubbing amber causes electrostatic phenomena).