open circuit, closed circuit

Any circuit which is not complete is considered an open circuit. A complete circuit which is not performing any actual work can still be a closed circuit. For example, a circuit connected to a dead battery may not perform any work, but it is still a closed circuit.

A circuit is considered to be closed when electricity flows from an energy source to the desired endpoint of the circuit. The open status of the circuit doesn't depend on how it became unclosed, so circuits which are manually disconnected and circuits which have blown fuses, faulty wiring or missing components are all considered open circuits.

See also:

circuit, short circuit