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 Xfinity also offers the option to add a modem for faster connection for an extra $14 a month. Claire Rafford, The Indianapolis Star, 20 July 2021 Sadly, that experience was lost with the advent of portable computers, when the sound of my father’s voice was replaced by the screech of his Kaypro’s modem. New York Times, 19 June 2021 If your modem and router are combined, resetting them involves only one step. Jim Rossman, Dallas News, 8 July 2021 Then, in late September Ms. Gomez received a Motorola router and modem from the Patterson Joint Unified School District, and now her family has high-speed internet at home. Brian L. Frank For The Wall Street Journal, WSJ, 15 Dec. 2020 Having formed a bond during the 56K modem era, Matilda and Daniel meet again by chance two decades later. Jacob Siegal, BGR, 27 June 2021 The newest Snapdragon X65 modem delivers theoretical 5G speeds of up to 10 Gigabit, up from the 7.6 Gbps of the X60. Brooke Crothers, Forbes, 22 May 2021 Modems connect the network to the computer in your home, while routers work in tandem with your modem to connect devices, allowing for your phone, tablet, smart TV and more to be on one network over Wi-Fi. Rick Welday, Forbes, 18 June 2021 The mobile station modem (MSM) chip is present in nearly 40% of all the world’s phones, CPR explained. Chris Smith, BGR, 7 May 2021

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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Time Traveler for modem

Time Traveler

The first known use of modem was circa 1952

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Dictionary Entries Near modem

Model T



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Statistics for modem

Last Updated

30 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Modem.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Aug. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on modem

Nglish: Translation of modem for Spanish Speakers

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


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