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 IIoT sensors generate vast amounts of data, and most operational technology (OT) networks do not have the bandwidth to support IIoT deployments. Naresh Shanker, Forbes, "Manufacturing Without Unplanned Downtime Could Become A Reality Sooner Than You Think," 26 Feb. 2021 Wi-Fi options will range from Wi-Fi 6 to the new Wi-Fi 6E (a version of Wi-Fi 6 with more bandwidth), as well as LTE 4G and 5G modems. Gordon Mah Ung, PCWorld, "Lenovo's new ThinkPads offer better screens and Ryzen 5000 CPUs," 23 Feb. 2021 His second trial, which began Tuesday, will likely be swiftly decided, this time to spare legislative bandwidth rather than presidential embarrassment. Kevin Mahnken, The New Republic, "Mitt Romney’s Party of One," 12 Feb. 2021 Does Michael have the bandwidth to feel guilty about that, too? Scott Tobias, Vulture, "Your Honor Recap: The Telltale Brain," 17 Jan. 2021 To Marvel’s credit, the studio seems to offer its directors more creative bandwidth than, say, LucasFilm, which has earned a reputation for ensuring directors will align with the Star Wars vision (and even firing directors who don’t). Eliana Dockterman, Time, "Wandavision Offers Hope That Originality Can Survive the Era of the Ever-Expanding Franchise," 16 Jan. 2021 The news added uncertainty to the prospects of the U.S. economic recovery, as well as putting in question how much bandwidth the Trump administration would have for foreign policy in coming weeks. Washington Post, "Asian markets rally after Trump signals optimism on coronavirus recovery," 5 Oct. 2020 At a gadget show staged on the displays of computers, tablets and phones, screens of a much bigger sort occupied plenty of bandwidth. Rob Pegoraro, USA TODAY, "Yes, you can have — and deserve — a bigger TV. That's the theme on display at CES trade show," 15 Jan. 2021 Guttridge confirmed that Rocket Lake S provides eight lanes, doubling the bandwidth, which means that Intel has kept the link speed constant. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Intel takes on Ryzen with Rocket Lake S and the Core i9-11900K," 11 Jan. 2021

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

Time Traveler for bandwidth

Time Traveler

The first known use of bandwidth was in 1902

See more words from the same year

Statistics for bandwidth

Last Updated

2 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Bandwidth.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for bandwidth



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

Nglish: Translation of bandwidth for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bandwidth for Arabic Speakers 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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Who Knew?

True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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