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 The capacitor shortage hurt production of a popular cellular modem. New York Times, "‘It’s a Roller-Coaster Ride’: Global Chip Shortage Is Making Industries Sweat," 15 Apr. 2021 Qualcomm, one of the largest modem and mobile processor vendors, is seen as a leader in 5G wireless technology. Trefis Team, Forbes, "How Is The Semiconductor Shortage Impacting 5G Stocks?," 12 Apr. 2021 Or your car, your TV, your printer, your modem...basically any electronic device that connects to the internet has a clock embedded. Eoin O'carroll, The Christian Science Monitor, "On the clock: How the clock became king," 29 Mar. 2021 As Strategy Analytics analyst Sravan Kundojjala notes, Intel struck a deal with Chinese chipmaker Rockchip in 2014 to co-design an Atom chip with an integrated 3G modem. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "In a radical change, Intel will build x86 chips for other companies," 24 Mar. 2021 Hot spots provided a vital, immediate service during the pandemic, but education and technology leaders said at-home broadband internet — the kind that traditionally requires a wall connection, modem and router — is faster and more reliable. Jacob Carpenter, San Antonio Express-News, "Texas' goal to close digital divide: At-home broadband internet for every student," 11 Mar. 2021 For unlimited data, customers with xFi Complete and who have a modem would pay $11 extra a month. Stephen Singer,, "Comcast, under fire for raising prices on large users of internet data, delays increase until 2022," 19 Feb. 2021 Using a dial-up modem and a phone line, anyone could sign on to a bulletin board system and read or write racist screeds. New York Times, "Lone Wolves Connected Online: A History of Modern White Supremacy," 26 Jan. 2021 For example, both phones use the same processor, cellular modem for 5G connectivity, and the same size batteries. Jason Cipriani, CNN Underscored, "The OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro offer an excellent Android experience for less," 26 Mar. 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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Statistics for modem

Last Updated

7 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Modem.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 May. 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

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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

Comments on modem

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