Definition of modulate
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
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
modulatorplay \-ˌlā-tər\ noun
modulatoryplay \-lə-ˌtōr-ē, -ˌtȯr-\ 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.
Origin and Etymology of modulate
Latin modulatus, past participle of modulari to play, sing, from modulus small measure, rhythm, diminutive of modus measure — more at mete
First Known Use: 1615
MODULATE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of modulate for English Language Learners
: 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
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