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The electrode by which current leaves the electrolytic device. The cathode is the site where reduction occurs; corrosion or oxidation occurs at the anode. In electrolysis, the cathode is negative and attracts cations. In a battery or voltaic cell, the transfer of charges of cations to the cathode makes it the positive terminal.

Synonyms and Related Terms

Kathode (Deut.); cathode (Fr.);

Resources and Citations

  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998
  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971
  • David C. Scott, Metallography and Microstructure of Ancient and Historic Metals, The Getty Conservation Institute, Los Angeles, 1991

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