mo·​dem | \ ˈmō-dəm How to pronounce modem (audio) also -ˌdem How to pronounce modem (audio) \
plural modems

Definition of modem

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a device that converts signals produced by one type of device (such as a computer) to a form compatible with another (such as a telephone) and that is used especially to transmit and receive information between computers via landlines


modemed; modeming; modems

Definition of modem (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to send (something, such as data) via a modem

Examples of modem in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

On the other hand, the company only just now got around to patching a 20-year-old modem bug, and noted macOS hacker Patrick Wardle dropped yet another zero day vulnerability. Brian Barrett, WIRED, "Security News This Week: Cryptocurrency Company Hacks Itself Before Hackers Can Hack It," 8 June 2019 Qualcomm, a company based in San Diego, makes around half the world’s baseband processors, modem chips which manage wireless connections. The Economist, "The technology industry is rife with bottlenecks," 6 June 2019 Swan reiterated that Intel has decided to discontinue plans to compete in the smartphone 5G modem market. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Intel commits to shipping 7nm chips by 2021, an aggressive change of pace," 8 May 2019 Catching Up Huawei in 2015 became the world’s biggest maker of networking equipment—gear like base stations, routers, modems and switches. Dan Strumpf, WSJ, "How Huawei Took Over the World," 25 Dec. 2018 Despite being a mobile router/modem that has very little to do computationally, the Nighthawk is packing one of the newest, fastest SoC's on Earth, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 SoC. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, "AT&T 5G goes live this week with ridiculously overpowered hotspot," 20 Dec. 2018 Whether that’s worth $1,300, however, rests on the namesake feature: 5G. The S10 5G uses Qualcomm’s first-generation X50 modem, which supports up to 5Gbps download speeds when connected to a 5G network. Michael Simon, PCWorld, "Verizon announces Galaxy S10 5G preorders and 20-city 5G expansion, but it’ll cost you," 25 Apr. 2019 Samsung is reportedly working on at least two 5G variants of its upcoming Samsung Galaxy S10, one using Qualcomm’s X50 modem, and the other with Samsung’s Exynos 5G hardware. Jon Porter, The Verge, "AT&T announces a better 5G Samsung phone, less than 24 hours after the first one," 5 Dec. 2018 Citing multiple sources familiar with Apple’s plans, Bloomberg suggests that Intel is the most likely candidate to provide the 5G modem, as has previously been reported. Vlad Savov, The Verge, "Don’t expect a 5G iPhone before 2020," 3 Dec. 2018

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


circa 1952, in the meaning defined above


1984, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for modem


modulator + demodulator

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Statistics for modem

Last Updated

16 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for modem

The first known use of modem was circa 1952

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More Definitions for modem



English Language Learners Definition of modem

: a device that changes the form of electric signals so that information can be sent through telephone lines from one computer to another computer


mo·​dem | \ ˈmō-dəm How to pronounce modem (audio) , -ˌdem\

Kids Definition of modem

: a device that changes electrical signals from one form to another and is used especially to send or receive computer data over a telephone line

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More from Merriam-Webster on modem

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with modem

Spanish Central: Translation of modem

Nglish: Translation of modem for Spanish Speakers

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

Comments on modem

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