conductor

noun

con·​duc·​tor kən-ˈdək-tər How to pronounce conductor (audio)
: 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.
conductorial adjective

Example Sentences

Metal is a good conductor of electricity.
Recent Examples on the Web In addition to Clooney, the evening also honored Amy Grant, Gladys Knight, composer-conductor Tania León and U2. Anna Lazarus Caplan, Peoplemag, 5 Dec. 2022 At least for now, classical music conductor Sir Georg Solti — who died in 1997 — still heads the list with 31 Grammy wins. George Varga, San Diego Union-Tribune, 15 Nov. 2022 Recording sessions for the score may involve a music coordinator, a conductor, engineers, a producer and a mixer, among others. Los Angeles Times, 8 Nov. 2022 Orchestra Noir was established by Rodgers six years ago after a globe-trotting, high-achieving career as conductor, composer, and arranger. Mankaprr Conteh, Rolling Stone, 6 Nov. 2022 Cate Blanchett, who won the actress prize at the Venice Film Festival for this film, is a sure nominee for her mesmerizing lead turn as famed composer-cum-conductor Lydia Tár in Todd Field’s first film in 16 years. Shalini Dore, Variety, 26 Oct. 2022 Russian forces occupying Kherson wanted a Ukrainian conductor, Yurii Kerpatenko, to conduct a propaganda concert for them. Jay Nordlinger, National Review, 20 Oct. 2022 When asked by NBC News how, if at all, the film would be different if the title character were a straight male conductor, Hoss and Kauer had similar responses. Elaina Patton, NBC News, 7 Oct. 2022 After a while, the conductor, Scott Jones, stops them, the thin point of his baton dropping below his wire-frame glasses. The New York Times, New York Times, 6 Oct. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

borrowed from Middle French & Medieval Latin; Middle French conducteur "director, guide," borrowed from Medieval Latin conductor "employer, lessee, escort, guide," going back to Latin, "employer, contractor, lessee," from condūcere "to bring together, join, hire, accept a contract for" (Medieval Latin also "to lead, escort, provide a channel for [water]") + -tor, agent suffix — more at conduce

Note: Parallel to the Latinate form was Middle French conduiteur, Old French conduitour (from conduire "to guide, escort," going back to Latin condūcere), which was loaned into Middle English as conduytour. Compare conduit.

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near conductor

Cite this Entry

“Conductor.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/conductor. Accessed 9 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

conductor

noun
con·​duc·​tor kən-ˈdək-tər How to pronounce conductor (audio)
1
: a person who collects fares in a public means of transportation (as a bus or railroad train)
2
: the leader of a musical group
3
: a substance or body that can allow electricity, heat, or sound to pass through it

Medical Definition

conductor

noun
con·​duc·​tor kən-ˈdək-tər How to pronounce conductor (audio)
1
a
: 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
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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