A Dictionary of the English Language
                        A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson
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Electrical

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 681

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 681
Eléctrical.
Eléctrick.
adj. [from electrum. See Electre.]
  1. Attractive without magnetism; attractive by a peculiar property, supposed once to belong chiefly to amber.

    By electrick bodies do I conceive not such only as take up light bodies, in which number the ancients only placed jett and amber; but such as, conveniently placed, attract all bodies palpable. Brown's Vulgar Errours, b. ii. c. 4.

    An electrick body can by friction emit an exhalation so subtile, and yet so potent, as by its emission to cause no sensible diminution of the weight of the electrick body, and to be expanded through a sphere, whose diameter is above two feet, and yet to be able to carry up lead, copper, or leaf-gold, at the distance of above a foot from the electrick body. Newton.

  2. Produced by an electrick body.

    If that attraction were not rather electrical than magnetical, it was wonderous what Helmont delivereth concerning a glass, wherein the magistery of loadstone was prepared, which retained an attractive quality. Brown's Vulgar Errours.

    If a piece of white paper, or a white cloath, or the end of one's finger, be held at about a quarter of an inch from the glass, the electrick vapour, excited by friction, will, by dashing against the white paper, cloth, or finger, be put into such an agitation as to emit light. Newton's Opt.

Sources: Browne, Thomas (204) · Newton, Isaac (40)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Electrical." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: January 30, 2013. http://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/?p=3149.


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