modulate

verb
mod·​u·​late | \ ˈmä-jə-ˌlāt How to pronounce modulate (audio) \
modulated; modulating

Definition of modulate

transitive verb

1 : to tune to a key or pitch
2 : to adjust to or keep in proper measure or proportion : temper
3 : to vary the amplitude, frequency, or phase of (a carrier wave or a light wave) for the transmission of information (as by radio) also : to vary the velocity of electrons in an electron beam

intransitive verb

1 : to play or sing with modulation
2 : to pass from one musical key into another by means of intermediary chords or notes that have some relation to both keys
3 : to pass gradually from one state to another

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Other Words from modulate

modulator \ ˈmä-​jə-​ˌlā-​tər How to pronounce modulator (audio) \ noun
modulatory \ ˈmä-​jə-​lə-​ˌtȯr-​ē How to pronounce modulatory (audio) \ adjective

Examples of modulate in a Sentence

Because she doesn't modulate her voice, she sounds the same when she's excited as when she's sad. The music quickly modulates from its original key, changing the mood of the song.

Recent Examples on the Web

Incredibly, while Armageddon blazes at warp speed, its cadence is masterfully modulated: Assaultive action scenes, jaw-dropping outer space shots and small, personal moments orbit in narrative harmony under Bay's confident hand. Duane Byrge, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Armageddon': THR's 1998 Review," 1 July 2019 Crowe’s Ailes also modulates his voice according to circumstance, switching codes and putting on voices of authority. Troy Patterson, The New Yorker, "“The Loudest Voice” Eviscerates Roger Ailes and Fox News," 30 June 2019 Not exactly, but the whole bordering-on-believable novel is beautifully modulated and terrifically suspenseful. Richard Lipez, Washington Post, "Looking for a summer thriller? Here are 9 picks for your beach bag.," 20 June 2019 Pain is modulated by context, expectations and experience, so what the practitioner says to the patient makes a big difference. Cathryn Jakobson Ramin, Discover Magazine, "These Researchers Think We Can Retrain Our Brains to Tame Chronic Pain," 30 May 2019 This global wealth tax could generate $14 trillion per year to fund nonprofit solutions to solve unemployment, climate change, global poverty, affordable housing, health care, and modulate wealth inequality. Letter Writers, Twin Cities, "Letters: Allow copper mining near BWCA — on two conditions," 20 June 2019 Knox says endocannabinoid receptors called CB1 and CB2 work in the lungs to modulate immune responses to inflammation. Mary Emily O'hara, Allure, "Why People With Asthma Can Benefit From Edibles," 20 Apr. 2019 Researchers have also found that, while THC can bind to and activate both types of receptors, CBD seems to modulate and somewhat block the effects of CB1 and CB2 receptors. Sarah Jacoby, SELF, "Do Topical CBD Products Actually Do Anything for Pain?," 19 Apr. 2019 His exquisitely modulated, serial views of haystacks, cathedral façades and rows of poplars in changing light, conjured up by stabs and strokes of subtly varied hues, are paradigms of 19th-century modernism. Karen Wilkin, WSJ, "‘Monet: The Late Years’ Review: Radiant Inspiration to the Very End," 2 Apr. 2019

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

1615, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for modulate

Latin modulatus, past participle of modulari to play, sing, from modulus small measure, rhythm, diminutive of modus measure — more at mete

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Statistics for modulate

Last Updated

15 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for modulate

The first known use of modulate was in 1615

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More Definitions for modulate

modulate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of modulate

formal : to change the sound of (your voice) by making it quieter, higher, lower, etc.
music : to move gradually from one key to another
: to change or adjust (something) so that it exists in a balanced or proper amount

modulate

transitive verb
mod·​u·​late | \ ˈmäj-ə-ˌlāt How to pronounce modulate (audio) \
modulated; modulating

Medical Definition of modulate

: to adjust to or keep in proper measure or proportion modulate an immune response modulate cell activity

Other Words from modulate

modulatory \ -​lə-​ˌtōr-​ē, -​ˌtȯr-​ How to pronounce modulatory (audio) \ adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on modulate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with modulate

Spanish Central: Translation of modulate

Nglish: Translation of modulate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of modulate for Arabic Speakers

Comments on modulate

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