semiconductor

noun
semi·​con·​duc·​tor | \ ˌse-mē-kən-ˈdək-tər How to pronounce semiconductor (audio) , ˌse-ˌmī-, -mi-\

Definition of semiconductor

: 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

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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

There wasn’t the sense that China with a hundred billion dollars in artificial intelligence and biotechnology and semiconductors and renewable energy, and those are just categories. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Eyeing a 2020 run, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti explains how he (or someone else) could beat Trump," 17 Oct. 2018 And in 2013, German scientists built an experimental equivalent of Maxwell's demon out of a pair of interacting quantum dots (tiny bits of semiconductors just a few nanometers wide). Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Penn State scientists build quantum version of Maxwell’s demon," 12 Sep. 2018 Image The Chinese immigrant found fortune harnessing Canadian talent to develop cutting-edge technology, everything from semiconductors to facial recognition, to take back to China. Dan Levin, New York Times, "A Tech Guru Captivated Canada. Then He Fled to China.," 10 July 2018 In other words, while the Trump team wheels and deals over soybeans, the Chinese are fixated on semiconductors. Tory Newmyer, Washington Post, "The Finance 202: Trump's ZTE cave means larger loss for his trade agenda," 8 June 2018 Among its biggest cases is an antitrust lawsuit against Qualcomm Inc. over claims the chip-maker illegally maintained a monopoly for semiconductors used in smart phones. Bloomberg.com, "Trump FTC Pick Pledges to Monitor Tech Giants," 11 Apr. 2018 HiSilicon’s pervasiveness is the result of China’s push to create its own semiconductor industry, rather than relying on U.S. companies. Mark Bergen, The Seattle Times, "Huawei is blocked in U.S., but its chips power security cameras everywhere," 28 Jan. 2019 China consumes 29 percent of the world’s semiconductors, more than half of which are imported from the US, according to a Commerce Department report. Klint Finley, WIRED, "The Deal to Save ZTE Won't Resolve US-China Tensions," 7 June 2018 Skill at running a semiconductor business doesn’t automatically transfer to an enterprise software business. Dan Gallagher, WSJ, "Broadcom Has Been Punished Enough," 31 Aug. 2018

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

1838, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

21 Mar 2019

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The first known use of semiconductor was in 1838

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More Definitions for semiconductor

semiconductor

noun

English Language Learners Definition of semiconductor

: a material or object that allows some electricity or heat to move through it and that is used especially in electronic devices

semiconductor

noun
semi·​con·​duc·​tor | \ ˌse-mi-kən-ˈdək-tər How to pronounce semiconductor (audio) \

Kids Definition of semiconductor

: a solid substance that conducts electricity imperfectly

semiconductor

noun
semi·​con·​duc·​tor | \ -kən-ˈdək-tər How to pronounce semiconductor (audio) \

Medical Definition of semiconductor

: 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

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