Electricity is a general term encompassing a variety of phenomena resulting from the presence and flow of electric charge
Electric charge
Electric charge is a physical property of matter that causes it to experience a force when near other electrically charged matter. Electric charge comes in two types, called positive and negative. Two positively charged substances, or objects, experience a mutual repulsive force, as do two...

. These include many easily recognizable phenomena, such as lightning
Lightning is an atmospheric electrostatic discharge accompanied by thunder, which typically occurs during thunderstorms, and sometimes during volcanic eruptions or dust storms...

, static electricity
Static electricity
Static electricity refers to the build-up of electric charge on the surface of objects. The static charges remain on an object until they either bleed off to ground or are quickly neutralized by a discharge. Static electricity can be contrasted with current electricity, which can be delivered...

, and the flow of electrical current in an electrical wire. In addition, electricity encompasses less familiar concepts such as the electromagnetic field
Electromagnetic field
An electromagnetic field is a physical field produced by moving electrically charged objects. It affects the behavior of charged objects in the vicinity of the field. The electromagnetic field extends indefinitely throughout space and describes the electromagnetic interaction...

 and electromagnetic induction
Electromagnetic induction
Electromagnetic induction is the production of an electric current across a conductor moving through a magnetic field. It underlies the operation of generators, transformers, induction motors, electric motors, synchronous motors, and solenoids....


The word is from the New Latin
New Latin
The term New Latin, or Neo-Latin, is used to describe the Latin language used in original works created between c. 1500 and c. 1900. Among other uses, Latin during this period was employed in scholarly and scientific publications...

 ēlectricus, "amber-like", coined in the year 1600 from the Greek ήλεκτρον (electron) meaning amber
Amber is fossilized tree resin , which has been appreciated for its color and natural beauty since Neolithic times. Amber is used as an ingredient in perfumes, as a healing agent in folk medicine, and as jewelry. There are five classes of amber, defined on the basis of their chemical constituents...

 (hardened plant resin), because electrical effects were produced classically by rubbing amber.

In general usage, the word "electricity" adequately refers to a number of physical effects.

"So astounding are the facts in this connection, that it would seem as though the Creator, himself had electrically designed this planet ..." ~ Nikola Tesla

"Without electricty, there can be no art." ~ Nam June Paik

"We will make electricity so cheap that only the rich will burn candles." ~ Thomas Edison

"Go hug your girlfriend! Or if you don't have any, go find one! You won't find the meaning of life with electricity!" ~ Pex Tufvesson (Kaktus & Mahoney) Category:Technology Category:Energy