con·​duc·​tor | \ kən-ˈdək-tər How to pronounce conductor (audio) \

Definition of conductor

: one that conducts: such as
a : guide
b : a collector of fares in a public conveyance a railroad conductor
c : the leader of a musical ensemble an orchestra conductor
d(1) : a material or object that permits an electric current to flow easily Copper wire is a good conductor. — compare insulator, semiconductor
(2) : a material capable of transmitting another form of energy (such as heat or sound) Aluminum is a conductor of heat.

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Other Words from conductor

conductorial \ ˌkän-​ˌdək-​ˈtȯr-​ē-​əl How to pronounce conductorial (audio) , kən-​ \ adjective

Examples of conductor in a Sentence

Metal is a good conductor of electricity.

Recent Examples on the Web

The facility has more than 360 miles of copper cable conductors to act as a giant antenna. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Russian State TV Lists U.S. Targets for Putin’s New Nukes--But One Target Doesn't Make Sense," 26 Feb. 2019 The older members hesitate at first, but the passion of the conductor — whose temper earned him the nickname Angry Bird — pulls them in. Sara Aridi, New York Times, "What’s on TV Monday: ‘Salvation’ and ‘Ballet 422’," 25 June 2018 Some — including, at one point, the Philips publicity department — have suggested that Sony's president, or his wife, wanted a CD to be able to contain the full 74-plus minutes of conductor Wilhelm Furtwängler's performance of Beethoven's Ninth. Jim Higgins, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "7 reasons why Beethoven's Ninth is a big deal; Milwaukee Symphony performs it this weekend," 11 June 2018 Classical pianist-conductor Bramwell Tovey’s messy performance last year in Orchestra Hall and jazz pianist Cyrus Chestnut’s disastrous attempt there in 2012 (both with the CSO) were just two unfortunate examples. Howard Reich,, "Gregory Porter sounds sumptuous with CSO," 12 June 2018 Quincy Jones trails only the late Hungarian conductor Georg Solti (31) for the most Grammy wins of all time. Michael Rietmulder, The Seattle Times, "Brandi Carlile wins 3 Grammys, gives stunning performance on music’s biggest stage," 11 Feb. 2019 The alumna has spent the last three decades as a Broadway musical director, supervisor and conductor for composer Andrew Lloyd Webber. John Benson,, "Broadway professional and Fairview High School '72 alumna Kristen Blodgette visits with students," 2 May 2018 In November, he was named principal pops conductor for the Columbus Symphony. Chris Varias,, "Music Hall adds more reason to look up while you listen," 6 Mar. 2018 Lees has been a member of the orchestra for more than two decades, providing leadership over the tenure of three artistic directors and when the CSO has had guest conductors. Sarah Brookbank,, "Timothy Lees steps down as Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra concertmaster," 13 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'conductor.' 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 conductor

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for conductor

see conduct entry 2

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Statistics for conductor

Last Updated

11 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for conductor

The first known use of conductor was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for conductor



English Language Learners Definition of conductor

: a person who stands in front of people while they sing or play musical instruments and directs their performance
: a person who collects money or tickets from passengers on a train or bus
: a material or object that allows electricity or heat to move through it


con·​duc·​tor | \ kən-ˈdək-tər How to pronounce conductor (audio) \

Kids Definition of conductor

1 : a person in charge of a public means of transportation (as a train)
2 : a person or thing that directs or leads She is the conductor of our school orchestra.
3 : a substance or body capable of transmitting light, electricity, heat, or sound Copper is a good conductor of electricity.


con·​duc·​tor | \ kən-ˈdək-tər How to pronounce conductor (audio) \

Medical Definition of conductor

1a : a material or object that permits an electric current to flow easily
b : a material capable of transmitting another form of energy (as heat or sound)
2 : a bodily part (as a nerve fiber) that transmits excitation

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More from Merriam-Webster on conductor

Spanish Central: Translation of conductor

Nglish: Translation of conductor for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of conductor for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about conductor

Comments on conductor

What made you want to look up conductor? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to affect and impair by alcohol or a drug

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