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terminal through which electric current passes between metallic and nonmetallic parts of an electric circuit. In most familiar circuits current is carried by metallic conductors, but in some circuits the current passes for some distance through a nonmetallic conductor.
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 through which current leaves an electric device. In electrolysiselectrolysis
, passage of an electric current through a conducting solution or molten salt that is decomposed in the process. The Electrolytic Process

The electrolytic process requires that an electrolyte, an ionized solution or molten metallic salt, complete an
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, it is the negative electrode in the electrolytic cell.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(1) In an electron tube or a gas-discharge tube, the electrode that is the source of electrons that ensure the conductivity of interelectrode space in a vacuum or maintain the steadiness of the passage of an electric current through the gas. Depending on the mechanism of emission of electrons, there exist thermionic cathodes, photocathodes, and cold cathodes.

(2) The negatively charged electrode (pole) of a source of current (galvanic cell, storage battery).

(3) The electrode of an electrolytic cell, an electric arc, and other similar devices that are connected to the negative pole of a source of current.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


The terminal at which current leaves a primary cell or storage battery; it is negative with respect to the device, and positive with respect to the external circuit.
The primary source of electrons in an electron tube; in directly heated tubes the filament is the cathode, and in indirectly heated tubes a coated metal cathode surrounds a heater. Designated K. Also known as negative electrode.
The terminal of a semiconductor diode that is negative with respect to the other terminal when the diode is biased in the forward direction.
(physical chemistry)
The electrode at which reduction takes place in an electrochemical cell, that is, a cell through which electrons are being forced.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


1. the negative electrode in an electrolytic cell; the electrode by which electrons enter a device from an external circuit
2. the negatively charged electron source in an electronic valve
3. the positive terminal of a primary cell
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


A terminal on an electrical device that has a negative charge. Current flows from the cathode to the positively charged anode; however, the electrons actually flow from the anode to the cathode. Derived from Greek, cathode and anode mean "down" and "up" respectively. See electrode, cold cathode and OLED layers.

Cathode Emitters
In vacuum tubes, the cathodes are the emitters, and the anodes are the collectors.
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References in periodicals archive ?
In the cathodal group, %DWSA was 97.53 percent and %DWP from its peak value was 83.16 percent, but in the anodal group, the amount of wound closure and the amount of wound potential that returned to initial preinjury levels was the same (Table 2).
Group Parameter Anodal (E1) Cathodal (E2) % [arrow down] WSA Day 12 81.1 [+ or -] 10.2 * 91.8 [+ or -] 6.4 * Day 14 93.7 [+ or -] 4.8 * 98.8 [+ or -] 2.9 * Normalized Stress (N/[mm.sup.2]) 0.4 [+ or -] 0.2 * 0.5 [+ or -] 0.1 Normalized [F.sub.max] (N) 0.31 [+ or -] 0.30 0.32 [+ or -] 0.30 Normalized Area Under Load-Deformation Curve (N x mm) 0.06 [+ or -] 0.09 0.10 [+ or -] 0.09 Group Parameter Control (C1) % [arrow down] WSA Day 12 56.9 [+ or -] 3.8 Day 14 82.5 [+ or -] 3.2 Normalized Stress (N/[mm.sup.2]) 0.8 [+ or -] 0.2 Normalized [F.sub.max] (N) 0.64 [+ or -] 0.20 Normalized Area Under Load-Deformation Curve (N x mm) 0.23 [+ or -] 0.08 * Significantly different from control group, p < 0.05.
Paulus, "Level of action of cathodal DC polarisation induced inhibition of the human motor cortex," Clinical Neurophysiology, vol.
However, the duration of stimulation and the pairing of stimulation with a cognitive task may result in paradoxical effects, such as cathodal tDCS producing increased MEP amplitude [46, 47].
The primary aim of the present study was to replicate the facilitatory effect immediately after cathodal c-tDCS on language task performance, as reported by Pope and Miall (i.e., their experiment 2) [20].
Capasso et al., "The effects of prolonged cathodal direct current stimulation on the excitatory and inhibitory circuits of the ipsilateral and contralateral motor cortex," Journal of Neural Transmission, vol.
We investigated the corticomotor responses evoked in the left/right gastrocnemius muscle and left/right tibialis anterior muscle following stimulation of the right/left motor cortex, before (basal condition) and after application of trains of anodal or cathodal DCS over left cerebellar hemisphere (see below).
provide an interesting evidence that both anodal and cathodal tDCS are superior to sham stimulation in enhancing the effect of rehabilitation training to improve motor recovery after subacute stroke in a pilot randomized controlled trial [61].
Anodal and cathodal widths of the Alb peak were also evaluated for three samples containing known Alb variants (14), compared with the remaining 804 samples for which S-bili was available.
Nevertheless, it was unclear whether the cathodal band represented BJP or lysozyme.
The IEF pattern shows a cathodal shift because of the hypoglycosylation of the protein (2).
More than 90% of tissue CK-mit is octameric (18) and exhibits cathodal migration on electrophoresis because of its positive charge, whereas CK-BB and CK-MB are negatively charged and CK-MM is neutral (19-20).