anode vs cathode??? Hello everyone :) I am having a problem understanding the difference between the anode and cathode in electrochemistry. What I know so far is that the anode is the electrode at which oxidation takes place (and hence donates electrons) and the cathode is the electrode at which reduction takes place (and hence accepts these electrons). Is this true? Please correct me if not. Then, I am very confused regarding the charges on the each of the electrodes. Which is positive and which is negative? In my chem book (Chemistry: The Central Science by Brown, LeMay, and Bursten) it is says that "although the anode and cathode are labeled with - and + signs respectively, you should not interpret the labels as charges on the electrodes. The labels simply tell us the electrode at which the electrons are released to the external circuit (the anode) and received from the external circuit (the cathode). The actual charges on the electrodes are essentially zero." Then I read on Wikipedia that the anode and cathode are charged. It states that "anode polarity is not always positive but depends on the device type, and sometimes even in which mode it operates, as determined by the above electric current direction-based universal definition." and that "cathode polarity is not always negative but depends on the device type, and sometimes even in which mode it operates, as determined by the above current direction based universal definition." They say that the charges of the anode and cathode differ depending on whether they are a part of a Galvanic cell or an electrolysis cell. I just don't get it! I am totally confused. Can anyone help me out please? Another question: in a conventional (dry-cell) battery, does the positive sign refer to the anode or cathode? Thank you so much and sorry for my looooong question.