Definition of cathode in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈkaθəʊd/


1The negatively charged electrode by which electrons enter an electrical device. The opposite of anode.
Example sentences
  • Oxygen enters at the cathode, where it combines with electrons and is split into ions that travel through the electrolyte to react with fuel at the anode.
  • The opening focuses the electrons emitted from the cathode onto the anode to a spot size preferably less than 40 nanometers.
  • An electron originating near the planar cathode and ultimately collected at electrode A will induce an equal charge at A and B during most of its journey.
1.1The positively charged electrode of an electrical device, such as a primary cell, that supplies current.
Example sentences
  • Therefore, in electrolytic cells, the cathode is the negative terminal and the anode is the positive terminal.
  • Most fuel cells use a polymer electrolyte membrane to separate the cathode and anode.
  • The electrons on the anode migrate via a wire to the cathode, the other electrode in the fuel cell, where they are electrochemically assisted to combine with the protons and produce hydrogen gas.



Example sentences
  • In all experiments, the anodal and cathodal solutions were identical and comprised 10 mM Tris buffer at pH 6.3 or pH 8.5 together with additional electrolytes as described below.
  • Stimulation parameters consisted of 0.5 ms trains of rectangular, cathodal pulses, 0.1 ms in duration, provided by a constant-current amplifier.
  • Interestingly, one sample had increased polyclonal, cathodal IgG, probably of the IgG, subclass; the AMCVs for this sample were relatively high (and higher than those for most IgG MC).


Pronunciation: /kəˈθɒdɪk/
Example sentences
  • Researchers determined the optimum potential for switching the photocurrent to be - 0. 05V, where the anodic and cathodic photocurrents are about the same.
  • There are three broad classes of corrosion-inhibiting admixtures, using different chemical mechanisms to control oxidation and the resulting corrosion - anodic inhibitors, cathodic inhibitors, and organic inhibitors.
  • Although the actual chemical reactions taking place within a battery are very complex, the major cathodic and anodic reactions can be idealized based on a knowledge of the parts of a battery and their electrochemical function.


Mid 19th century: from Greek kathodos 'way down', from kata- 'down'+ hodos 'way'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: cath|ode

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.