bandwidth

noun
band·​width | \ ˈband-ˌwidth How to pronounce bandwidth (audio) , -ˌwitth\

Definition of bandwidth

1 : a range within a band of wavelengths, frequencies, or energies especially : a range of radio frequencies which is occupied by a modulated carrier wave, which is assigned to a service, or over which a device can operate
2 : the capacity for data transfer of an electronic communications system Graphics consume more bandwidth than text does. especially : the maximum data transfer rate of such a system a bandwidth of 100 megabits per second
3 : the emotional or mental capacity necessary to do or consider something I don't have the bandwidth to do it all myself, and I feel like a failure because I'm not living up to my own ideals.— Frances Lefkowitz

Examples of bandwidth in a Sentence

The modem has a bandwidth of 56 kilobits per second. Graphics use more bandwidth than text does.

Recent Examples on the Web

Wi-Fi is on the same bandwidth, as are Fitbits, keychain trackers, microwaves, and wireless mice and keyboards. Alexander George, Popular Mechanics, "Why Your Bluetooth Headphones Don’t Work Right," 5 Dec. 2017 Sony told me that the minimum bandwidth needed to stream 4K HDR content is 15 to 20Mbps, which while certainly a high-speed connection, isn’t out of reach for most internet services. Dan Seifert, The Verge, "Sony A8F TV review: high-end headaches," 2 Nov. 2018 Designed to replace the older Milstar network, AEHF is capable of high bandwidth transmission, including real-time video, battlefield maps, and targeting data, at a pace of 10 megabits per second. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Watch a C-5 Galaxy Swallow a Satellite Whole," 28 Nov. 2018 One conundrum is that adding bandwidth to the network is only a temporary solution. Popular Mechanics, "The Death of the Internet," 7 Feb. 2019 If two are connected, the display bandwidth must be split into two 4K connections at a sub-standard 30Hz—a limitation of the Surface, however, and not the SD7000. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Hands on: The Kensington SD7000 dock turns a Surface tablet into a Surface Studio," 21 Jan. 2019 Tap lights: Don’t have the money or bandwidth to add more interior lighting in your rig? Megan Barber, Curbed, "The ultimate van life shopping guide," 14 Nov. 2018 People have limited emotional and cognitive bandwidth (and there’s no app to expand it). David Roberts, Vox, "My advice for aspiring explainer journalists," 9 Dec. 2018 Nvidia has also moved to GDDR6 with its RTX 2080, which means there’s as much as 50 percent higher effective bandwidth for games. Tom Warren, The Verge, "Nvidia rethinks the graphics card with the RTX 2080," 14 Sep. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bandwidth.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of bandwidth

1902, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about bandwidth

Statistics for bandwidth

Last Updated

13 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for bandwidth

The first known use of bandwidth was in 1902

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for bandwidth

bandwidth

noun

English Language Learners Definition of bandwidth

technical : a measurement of the ability of an electronic communications device or system (such as a computer network) to send and receive information

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on bandwidth

Spanish Central: Translation of bandwidth

Nglish: Translation of bandwidth for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bandwidth for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about bandwidth

Comments on bandwidth

What made you want to look up bandwidth? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

likely to have or produce good results

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!