electric (adj.)

1640s, first used in English by physician Sir Thomas Browne (1605-1682), apparently coined as Modern Latin electricus (literally "resembling amber") by English physicist William Gilbert (1540-1603) in treatise "De Magnete" (1600), from Latin electrum "amber," from Greek ēlektron "amber" (Homer, Hesiod, Herodotus), also "pale gold" (a compound of 1 part silver to 4 of gold); which is of unknown origin.

Vim illam electricam nobis placet appellare [Gilbert]

Originally the word described substances which, like amber, attract other substances when rubbed. Meaning "charged with electricity" is from 1670s; the physical force so called because it first was generated by rubbing amber. In many modern instances, the word is short for electrical. Figurative sense is attested by 1793. Electric light is from 1767. Electric toothbrush first recorded 1936; electric blanket in 1930. Electric typewriter is from 1958. Electric guitar is from 1938; electric organ coined as the name of a hypothetical future instrument in 1885.

Others are reading

Definitions of electric
electric (adj.)
using or providing or producing or transmitting or operated by electricity;
electric wiring
electric current
Synonyms: electrical
electric (adj.)
(of a situation) exceptionally tense;
an atmosphere electric with suspicion
electric (adj.)
affected by emotion as if by electricity; thrilling;
gave an electric reading of the play
Synonyms: galvanic / galvanizing / galvanising
electric (n.)
a car that is powered by electricity;
Synonyms: electric automobile / electric car