communication theory


variants or less commonly communications theory
: a theory that deals with the technology of the transmission of information (as through the written word or a computer) between people, people and machines, or machines and machines
There is some sense of the impact of telecommunications and computerization (almost all writers have gone on-line with something by now after all), but few of these fictions seem shaped in any serious way by information or communication theory.Robert Coover, The New York Times Book Review, 18 Mar. 1984
Ms. Medsger said the three major trends that supervisors found most disturbing were the emphasis on faculty members with academic rather than journalistic experience, the elimination of journalism as a stand-alone major and the increased emphasis on communication theory at the expense of basic reporting and writing skills.Iver Peterson, The New York Times, 6 May 1996

Word History

First Known Use

1911, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of communication theory was in 1911

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!

Dictionary Entries Near communication theory

Cite this Entry

“Communication theory.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Dec. 2023.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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