mod·​er·​a·​tor | \ ˈmä-də-ˌrā-tər How to pronounce moderator (audio) \
plural moderators

Definition of moderator

1 : one who presides over an assembly, meeting, or discussion: such as
a : the chairman of a discussion group
b : the nonpartisan presiding officer of a town meeting
c : the presiding officer of a Presbyterian governing body
2 : one who arbitrates : mediator
3 : a substance (such as graphite) used for slowing neutrons in a nuclear reactor

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Other Words from moderator

moderatorship \ ˈmä-​də-​ˌrā-​tər-​ˌship How to pronounce moderatorship (audio) \ noun

Examples of moderator in a Sentence

The moderator allowed audience members to ask the governor questions. She acts as the moderator in our office meetings.
Recent Examples on the Web Details about the debates are as follows: Sept. 29: Fox News' Chris Wallace will serve as moderator for the first debate between Trump and Biden at Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland. William Cummings, USA TODAY, "Nov. 3, Election Day, is just 2 months away. Here's what you need to know," 4 Sep. 2020 Winning submissions will be published in The Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News and may be submitted to the debate moderator as a potential question for Vice President Mike Pence and Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris. Sydnee Gonzalez, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Political essay contest for Utah students tied to upcoming V.P. debate," 2 Sep. 2020 Reddit personnel have since restored the moderator account to its rightful owner. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Mass hijacking spree takes over subreddits to promote Donald Trump," 7 Aug. 2020 The moderator for the mayoral forums will be Toni Terrell of Cumulus Media. Paul Gattis |, al, "Candidate forums set for Huntsville, Madison elections," 4 Aug. 2020 The moderator asked different questions of each of the candidates related to Latino and immigrant communities, from housing to pay inequities to the environment. Saja Hindi, The Denver Post, "Colorado Democratic candidates running for U.S. Senate discuss Latino issues at forum," 26 Jan. 2020 The moderator uncrossed her legs and shifted to face the audience. Tania James, The New Yorker, "The South Asian Speakers Series Presents the Archeologist and Adventurer Indiana Jones," 27 Aug. 2020 The debate will be 90 minutes long and run from 9 to 10:30 p.m., with one moderator and no commercial breaks. Cliff Pinckard, cleveland, "What will Cleveland’s presidential debate look like? The Wake Up for Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020," 26 Aug. 2020 Dean Colin Crawford is the brain behind the class, but likes to think of himself as its moderator. Sarah Ladd, The Courier-Journal, "U of L Brandeis School of Law launches 'Breonna Taylor's Louisville' class," 26 Aug. 2020

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

circa 1560, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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Time Traveler for moderator

Time Traveler

The first known use of moderator was circa 1560

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Statistics for moderator

Last Updated

11 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Moderator.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for moderator


How to pronounce moderator (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of moderator

: someone who leads a discussion in a group and tells each person when to speak : someone who moderates a meeting or discussion


mod·​er·​a·​tor | \ ˈmäd-ə-ˌrāt-ər How to pronounce moderator (audio) \

Medical Definition of moderator

: a substance (as graphite, deuterium in heavy water, or beryllium) used for slowing down neutrons in a nuclear reactor

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