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 What usually feels like a give-and-take between a conductor and soloist will be much more rigid for this performance. Madeline Mitchell,, "CSO to perform with 'ghost' of George Gershwin – a composer who has been dead for 82 years," 13 Jan. 2020 But Alma’s next conquest was Alexander von Zemlinsky, a promising young conductor and composer who recognized her talent and offered to give her more advanced music lessons. Cathleen Schine, The New York Review of Books, "It Had to Be Her," 7 Jan. 2020 Women in transit—from train conductors and cleaners to riders—often face harsher conditions than their male counterparts. Katie Herchenroeder, Quartz, "Women in America’s largest transit system are underground—and under attack," 3 Jan. 2020 The Philadelphia railroad has had to move slowly to get both conductors and riders used to the changes, and to work the bugs out of the software, Derwinski said during Metra’s monthly board meeting. Mary Wisniewski,, "Metra may do away with cash on trains," 11 Dec. 2019 At the most basic level, coding is executed in alternating bursts of electrical energy enabled by conductors and insulators, not the words, code, or even punchcards that are used to guide the electricity around. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Plastic Can Walk on its Own Now," 5 Dec. 2019 Buried in the earth were remnants of fragments of the same type of rock that makes up the Callanish stones—called Lewisian gneiss—which, unlike the peat and clays that stud the island’s dirt, are poor conductors of electricity. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, "Massive Lightning Strike May Have Inspired This Scottish Stone Circle," 31 Dec. 2019 The pianist, composer and conductor whose broad reach took in the worlds of Hollywood, jazz and classical music. Bernard Mcghee, The Denver Post, "Final goodbye: Recalling influential people who died in 2019," 16 Dec. 2019 Through 13 subsequent trips as a conductor on the Underground Railroad, the God-fearing, gun-toting Harriet Tubman helped some 70 slaves slip their chains and escorted them north, to freedom. Deroy Murdock, National Review, "Put Harriet Tubman on a New $25 Bill," 21 Nov. 2019

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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Time Traveler for conductor

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for conductor

Last Updated

17 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Conductor.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 21 January 2020.

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More Definitions for conductor


How to pronounce conductor (audio)

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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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).


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