In electrical engineering, ground or earth is the reference point in an electrical circuit from which other voltages are measured, or is a common return path for electric current, or a direct physical connection to the Earth.
Electrical circuits may be connected to ground (earth) for several reasons. In mains powered equipment, exposed metal parts are connected to ground to prevent contact with a dangerous voltage if electrical insulation fails. Connections to ground limit the build-up of static electricity when handling flammable products or electrostatic-sensitive devices. In some telegraph and power transmission circuits, the earth itself can be used as one conductor of the circuit, saving the cost of installing a separate return conductor.