cognitive radio


Definition of cognitive radio

: a system of wireless communication allowing a device to automatically detect an open or unused radio frequency and switch to it in order to improve performance This strategy would allow a portable radio receiver to monitor a wide swath of the spectrum at all times without swiftly burning through its batteries. That will be important in the much-anticipated world of cognitive radio, in which our handsets become agile enough to exploit frequencies that are fair game only when a higher-priority user hasn't claimed them.— Clark T.-C. Nguyen, IEEE Spectrum, 12 Dec. 2009 For example, if the government has reserved some spectrum for use at an Air Force bombing range, but no bombing is happening on a particular day, cognitive radio could allow a phone to sense the open channel and switch to it.— Brian X. Chen, The New York Times, 7 June 2012

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

First Known Use of cognitive radio

1999, in the meaning defined above

Learn More About cognitive radio

Time Traveler for cognitive radio

Time Traveler

The first known use of cognitive radio was in 1999

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near cognitive radio

cognitive dissonance

cognitive radio

cognitive science

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for cognitive radio

Cite this Entry

“Cognitive radio.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jan. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon


Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Flower Edition

True or False

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

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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