A substance in which an electric field gives rise to no net flow of electric charge but to a displacement of charge in opposite directions. The displacement is usually small compared to atomic dimensions. Dielectrics differ from conductors in that they have no free electrons to move through the material under the influence of an electric field. Most insulating materials, e.g. air, porcelain, mica, glass, are dielectrics. A perfect vacuum would constitute a perfect dielectric. → diamagnetic.
Dielectric, from Gk. dia- a prefix used with several meanings "passing through; thoroughly; completely; going apart," and in the present case "not, opposed;" → electric.