mod·​u·​la·​tion | \ ˌmä-jə-ˈlā-shən How to pronounce modulation (audio) \

Definition of modulation

1 : an inflection of the tone or pitch of the voice specifically : the use of stress or pitch to convey meaning
2 : a regulating according to measure or proportion : tempering
3 : a change from one musical key to another by modulating
4 : the process of modulating a carrier or signal (as in radio) also : the result of this process

Examples of modulation in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Yet behind the bravado was an awkward modulation between despair and defiance. New York Times, 28 May 2022 And the actors’ mostly mic-less performance occasionally suffers from their attempts to both emote and project; the volume erases much of the tonal modulation and dialogue pauses. New York Times, 26 May 2022 Brake modulation is fine at the top of the pedal's travel but gets a little grabby in the last few feet before a stop. Joe Lorio, Car and Driver, 5 May 2022 Along with a drive towards physical wellness, the company has also developed a neural modulation headset that rewards members for treatment sessions, brain augmentation practice, and improving brain health. Josh Wilson, Forbes, 12 Apr. 2022 Similarly, when Muti and orchestra summitted the major-key arrival of the fourth and final movement, the glittering modulation was specked with grit, as though acknowledging that this was a victory far too hard-won. Hannah Edgar,, 1 Apr. 2022 The constantly shifting interpersonal dynamics are conveyed with fluid modulation of tone by a director in full control of her material. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 12 Feb. 2022 Despite the blending of regenerative and friction braking, there's no weirdness in the brake-pedal modulation. Joe Lorio, Car and Driver, 22 Dec. 2021 The private life of feeling is correspondingly magnified, and a single glance, or modulation of voice, can become freighted with significance. Charlie Tyson, The New Yorker, 2 Feb. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'modulation.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of modulation

1501, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for modulation

Time Traveler

The first known use of modulation was in 1501

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Dictionary Entries Near modulation

modulated continuous waves


modulation index

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Statistics for modulation

Last Updated

5 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Modulation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for modulation


mod·​u·​la·​tion | \ ˌmäj-ə-ˈlā-shən How to pronounce modulation (audio) \

Medical Definition of modulation

1 : the act or process of modulating
2 : a reversible change in histological structure due to physiological factors


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