electricityyoudaoicibaDictYouDict[electricity 词源字典]
electricity: [17] The earliest manifestation of electricity was that produced by rubbing amber, and hence the name, based on ēlectrum, Latin for ‘amber’ (which in turn derives from Greek ēlektron). The first evidence of this in a Latin text is in William Gilbert’s De magnete 1600, but by the middle of the century we find the word being used in English treatises, notably Sir Thomas Browne’s Pseudodoxia epidemica 1646. (At this early stage, of course, it referred only to the ability of rubbed amber, etc to attract light bodies, the only property of electricity then known about; it was not until later that the full range of other electrical phenomena came to be included under the term.)
[electricity etymology, electricity origin, 英语词源]
electricity (n.)youdaoicibaDictYouDict
1640s (Browne, from Gilbert's Modern Latin), from electric (q.v.) + -ity. Originally in reference to friction.
Electricity seems destined to play a most important part in the arts and industries. The question of its economical application to some purposes is still unsettled, but experiment has already proved that it will propel a street car better than a gas jet and give more light than a horse. [Ambrose Bierce, "The Cynic's Word Book," 1906]