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

Its self-modulation feature detects water flow and adjusts its power output to meet demand, saving electricity. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, "Why Your Next Water Heater Should Be Tankless," 14 Aug. 2019 And for some of those who come to The Voice Lab with the goal of voice modulation, the stakes are high. Nicole Blackwood,, "Trans Chicagoans learn to construct sound from square one, for safety and artistic pursuits," 12 Aug. 2019 The compact countertop flosser features two modes: Floss Mode boasts pulse-modulation technology to remove plaque, while the Hydro-Pulse Massage Mode enhances gum stimulation to improve circulation. Tess Garcia,, "Amazon Prime Day 2019 Has Huge Savings on Toothbrushes, Water Flossers, and More," 15 July 2019 But the wobble could be discerned as a subtle periodic modulation of the gravitational waves emanating from the binary system. Conor Purcell, Scientific American, "Future Gravitational-Wave Detectors Could Find Exoplanets, Too," 8 July 2019 Each data stream still needs to have independent modulation to encode the data, so there is no saving in power there. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "661Tbps through a single optical fiber: The mind boggles," 1 Aug. 2018 Heat modulation proves the secret to good grilling: Use enough for flavor, perfect texture and browning, but not so much that food tastes burnt or acrid. Jeanmarie Brownson, charlotteobserver, "Control the heat to grill the perfect steak," 26 June 2018 And in general, the flashback structure is too herky-jerky for the film’s more delicate emotional modulations. Peter Rainer, The Christian Science Monitor, "3 movies you should see in May," 30 May 2018 This conflict plays out in scene after scene, with much variation in circumstance but little modulation in tone. Justin Chang,, "Russian drama takes the stage at Cannes in the sweet 'Leto' and the scathing 'Donbass'," 11 May 2018

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.

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First Known Use of modulation

1501, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

27 Aug 2019

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The first known use of modulation was in 1501

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on modulation

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with modulation

Spanish Central: Translation of modulation

Nglish: Translation of modulation for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about modulation

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