con·duc·tor | \ kən-ˈdək-tər \

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.

Keep scrolling for more

Other words from conductor

conductorial \ˌkän-ˌdək-ˈtȯr-ē-əl, kən- \ adjective

Examples of conductor in a Sentence

Metal is a good conductor of electricity.

Recent Examples on the Web

Wilson also hurled racial slurs and insults at the conductor, the plea agreement describes. Lisa Gutierrez, kansascity, "Acid-tripping neo-Nazi from Missouri disabled train to ‘save it from black people,’ feds say," 13 July 2018 The concertmaster works closely with the conductor on performance and interpretation issues, sets bowing instructions for other first violin players and tunes the orchestra before each concert begins. Sarah Brookbank,, "Timothy Lees steps down as Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra concertmaster," 13 July 2018 The 911 operator was able to speak to officials at the railroad, who alerted the train conductors. Scott Berson, charlotteobserver, "Train-hoppers call 911 clinging to locomotive: ‘It’s going really, really fast!’," 12 July 2018 The band will be conducted by Stephen Squires, who is also principal guest conductor for the Fox Valley Orchestra. Joy Davis, Aurora Beacon-News, "Summer Pops Concert to be held at Paramount in Aurora," 31 May 2018 One neuroscientist called it the corporate executive of the brain or the orchestra conductor or the capital city. Recode Staff, Recode, "Full transcript: Author Michael Pollan on Recode Decode," 22 May 2018 The parents of both young women judged a train conductor’s son of unsatisfactory social standing for their daughters. Benjamin Kunkel, The New Republic, "The partisan world of Pablo Neruda," 2 July 2018 These combined rehearsals not only involve the complication of putting all of the components together but also of the singers getting used to a new conductor. Jessica Rudman,, "HSO Wraps Up Masterworks Season With Impressive Collaboratin," 9 June 2018 Removing the lignin, a heat conductor, gave the resulting product powerful insulating capabilities. Emily Matchar, Smithsonian, "Could ‘Nanowood’ Replace Styrofoam?," 26 Mar. 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.

See More

First Known Use of conductor

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for conductor

see conduct entry 2

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about conductor

Phrases Related to conductor

lightning conductor

Statistics for conductor

Last Updated

12 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for conductor

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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 \

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 \

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


alleviating pain or harshness

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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