Go to 'thermo-' entry Go to 'dino-' entry Go to 'chondro-' entry Go to 'aero-' entry Go to '-logy' entry Go to 'thaumato-' entry Go to 'nano-' entry Go to '-sophy' entry Go to 'bucco-' entry Go to '-ism' entry Go to '-lysis' entry Go to 'galacto-' entry Go to '-anthropy' entry Go to 'pneumo-' entry Go to '-ploitation' entry Go to '-lithic' entry Go to '-sepalous' entry Go to 'onco-' entry Go to '-parous' entry Go to 'dermato-' entry Go to 'multi-' entry Go to 'dodeca-' entry Go to '-zoon' entry Go to 'vermi-' entry Go to 'crystallo-' entry Go to 'biblio-' entry Go to 'eco-' entry Go to 'juxta-' entry Go to 'facio-' entry
Affixes: the building blocks of English
Affixes: the building blocks of English

electr(o)-

Relating to, caused by, or connected with electricity.

[Latin electrum, amber, from Greek ēlektron.]

The Latin word was borrowed by William Gilbert in 1600 because amber produces static electricity when rubbed. The usual adjectives are electric and electrical. Examples of the form are electromagnetic, relating to the interrelation of electric and magnetic phenomena; electrode (Greek hodos, way), a conductor through which electricity enters or leaves some region; and electrolysis (Greek lusis, loosening), chemical decomposition produced by passing an electric current through a liquid or solution.

The electron was given that name because it acts as the primary carrier of electricity in solids, hence electronics, originally the study of the movement of electrons in a vacuum or materials, but now the design and application of complex electrical circuits; the adjective is electronic.

In medicine, the prefix appears in the name of several instruments that measure and record electrical activity in the body: electrocardiography (Greek kardia, heart), in the heart; electroencephalography (Greek kephalē, head), in the brain; electromyography (Greek mus, mu-, muscle) in muscle tissue. Electroconvulsive therapy is a method of treating mental illness by the application of electric shocks to the brain.

Visit Michael Quinion’s World Wide Words site for 2000+ articles on English!

Copyright © Michael Quinion 2008–. All rights reserved. Page last updated 23 September 2008.
Your comments and suggestions on the site are very welcome.