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

Arms-control experts doubt that the Trump administration has the bandwidth to conduct serious negotiations with the Russians, Chinese and North Koreans at the same time. The Economist, "Donald Trump risks undoing decades of nuclear arms control," 11 July 2019 More than halfway through Trump’s term, Germany is hesitant to lead, and the U.K. has eroded its standing in the world by using all of its policymaking bandwidth to solve the Brexit conundrum. Dalibor Rohac, National Review, "As They Confront China, Americans and Europeans Need Each Other," 28 June 2019 In May, the FCC finished accepting bids on a radio frequency bandwidth that agency officials say will enable U.S. companies to compete in the 5G wireless field, which offers the tantalizing prospect of a much faster, more reliable cellphone signal. Susanne Rust,, "Will Trump’s 5G push interfere with forecasting deadly storms in California and U.S.?," 20 June 2019 The reason: the city didn’t have the necessary equipment or bandwidth to get it properly running and never once was able to test it live. Nick Statt, The Verge, "Orlando police once again ditch Amazon’s facial recognition software," 19 July 2019 Among other problems, the city lacked the bandwidth to send images from cameras to servers. Fortune, "China’s Unicorns: Galloping Into the Sunset?—Data Sheet," 19 July 2019 There’s an array of potential hang-ups lurking in budget talks, from wrangling over specific issues to the bandwidth of staff and negotiators. Matt Stout,, "There’s no state budget in sight. And lawmakers just asked Baker for another extension.," 15 July 2019 Each will have massive capacity, delivering more than three times the bandwidth of the company’s most powerful satellite currently. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Viasat expands Community Wi-Fi into Brazil to help close the digital divide," 12 July 2019 Before there were a select number of channels — a limit to the bandwidth. Suhauna Hussain,, "He lost money as a young CEO. Then he founded TV giant Vizio," 7 July 2019

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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Last Updated

17 Aug 2019

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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

technical : 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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