band·width | \ ˈband-ˌwidth , -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

OpenCAPI is a new connection type that provides a high bandwidth, low latency connection for memory, accelerators, network, storage, and other chips. Andy Patrizio, Ars Technica, "The AI revolution has spawned a new chips arms race," 9 July 2018 Satellite broadband provider Viasat swung to a loss for its fiscal fourth quarter as its new ViaSat-2 high-bandwidth satellite has yet to spark a return to residential subscriber growth. Mike Freeman,, "Carlsbad's Viasat posts loss as new satellite has yet to boost subscriber numbers," 24 May 2018 For most passengers, the free Internet service only will be fast enough for low-bandwidth activities such as posting to social media and checking email. Gene Sloan, USA TODAY, "Silversea Cruises is latest line to make Internet access free," 3 Apr. 2018 The new one, purchased in 2017 following the fatal shooting at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, will provide a 300 percent increase in bandwidth and accept scores more inbound radio requests. Martin Vassolo, miamiherald, "Flawed 911 system ‘absolutely’ affected response to Parkland shooting," 11 July 2018 Pearman said the county upgraded its internet bandwidth and thought steps were needed to make sure that was available to necessary applications. Craig Lyons, Post-Tribune, "Lake County moves to limit employees' internet use," 6 July 2018 Spirit will charge an average of $6.50 per flight for Wi-Fi, with prices based on flight distance and bandwidth usage. Jaclyn Gallucci, Fortune, "Even Discount Airlines Are Adding Wi-Fi as Big Rivals Bare Their Fangs," 12 May 2018 Verizon began throttling mobile video to 480p or 720p on smartphones last year; the system limits the amount of bandwidth available to anything identified as a video. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "Comcast starts throttling mobile video, will charge extra for HD streams," 2 July 2018 Signing up for a new wireless plan can reveal unsavory surprises, from restrictions on sharing your bandwidth with a laptop to limits on the resolution of streaming video. Rob Pegoraro, USA TODAY, "Switching wireless plans can mean having to expose your 'hard' credit record," 25 June 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.

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First Known Use of bandwidth

1902, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Dictionary Entries near bandwidth



band wheel




bandy about

Statistics for bandwidth

Last Updated

31 Aug 2018

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Time Traveler for bandwidth

The first known use of bandwidth was in 1902

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English Language Learners Definition of bandwidth

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

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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 Encyclopedia article about bandwidth

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to make amends

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