In a number of instances, people tend to use the terms electronic and electric interchangeably. While both terms are commonly employed when discussing electronics, there is a subtle difference between the correct usage of each word.
Electric has to do with the general concept of electricity. It is generally acceptable to use the terms electric and electrical interchangeably. Essentially, the word "electric" will function as a way of qualifying the flow of electricity as it relates to a specific event. For example, if a fire starts due to a problem with wiring in a building, the event can be described as an electric or electrical fire, caused by the electric or electrical wiring. The use of electric identifies a source of power that serves to create a logical effect when conducted through a process or device.
In contrast, electronic is a term that is descriptive of devices that are powered by electricity. An electronic device is often constructed using one or more electric elements that make it possible to manage the flow of electricity into the device. A television is a good example, since it is partially composed of a series of individual electric components that help to conduct the flow of electricity. In like manner, desktop and laptop computers are electronic in nature. Handheld devices such as cell phones are also electronic, while operating with the use of an electric component – a battery.