semiconductor

noun

semi·​con·​duc·​tor ˌse-mē-kən-ˈdək-tər How to pronounce semiconductor (audio)
ˌse-ˌmī-,
-mi-
: any of a class of solids (such as germanium or silicon) whose electrical conductivity is between that of a conductor and that of an insulator in being nearly as great as that of a metal at high temperatures and nearly absent at low temperatures

Did you know?

A semiconductor is a crystal material whose ability to conduct electricity rises as its temperature goes up. That is, it sometimes acts as a conductor and sometimes as an insulator. Its conducting ability can be much increased by chemical treatment. A manufactured chip of silicon, less than half an inch square, may contain millions of microscopic transistors, which can serve control and memory functions when installed in a computer, automobile, cell phone, DVD player, or microwave oven.

Examples of semiconductor in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In the 1950s and 1960s, many people were trapped in the fallacy of the first step because of the rapid advancement in the processing speed of the semiconductors powering computers. Gil Press, Forbes, 25 Feb. 2024 Chinese companies like Huawei are pitching their products as a safer option if Washington tightens its export restrictions on semiconductors, Reuters reported in December. Lionel Lim, Fortune Asia, 23 Feb. 2024 The chipmaker, which soared 16.4%, reported scorching demand for its semiconductors. Zimo Zhong, Quartz, 23 Feb. 2024 In October 2023, the Biden administration tightened restrictions on sales of advanced semiconductors by American firms. Laura He, CNN, 23 Feb. 2024 Proponents say the change is needed to protect essential uses of PFAS in things such as medical devices and semiconductors. Sarah Bowman, The Indianapolis Star, 23 Feb. 2024 The semiconductor giant, whose chips are foundational for generative AI, turned in first-quarter revenues of $22.1 billion, up 265% from a year ago, compared with analysts’ consensus forecast for a 240% jump to $20.6 billion, Fortune reported. Sheryl Estrada, Fortune, 22 Feb. 2024 Intevac, a maker of thin-film processing systems that can be used in the semiconductor sector, signed a long-term renewal of its lease for a headquarters site in the tech campus. George Avalos, The Mercury News, 22 Feb. 2024 The success of Intel’s new plan is crucial not only to the company but also the hopes of the wider US tech industry and US government of being a world leader in AI and semiconductors. Will Knight, WIRED, 21 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'semiconductor.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1838, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of semiconductor was in 1838

Dictionary Entries Near semiconductor

Cite this Entry

“Semiconductor.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/semiconductor. Accessed 29 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

semiconductor

noun
semi·​con·​duc·​tor ˌsem-i-kən-ˈdək-tər How to pronounce semiconductor (audio)
ˌsem-ˌī-
: any of a class of solids (as germanium) that have an ability to conduct electricity between that of a conductor and that of an insulator
semiconducting
-tiŋ
adjective

Medical Definition

semiconductor

noun
semi·​con·​duc·​tor -kən-ˈdək-tər How to pronounce semiconductor (audio)
: any of a class of solids (as germanium or silicon) whose electrical conductivity is between that of a conductor and that of an insulator in being nearly as great as that of a metal at high temperatures and nearly absent at low temperatures
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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