noun, often attributive
tele·​vi·​sion | \ ˈte-lə-ˌvi-zhən How to pronounce television (audio) , especially British ˌte-lə-ˈvi-\

Definition of television

1 : an electronic system of transmitting transient images of fixed or moving objects together with sound over a wire or through space by apparatus that converts light and sound into electrical waves and reconverts them into visible light rays and audible sound
2 : a television receiving set
3a : the television broadcasting industry
b : television as a medium of communication
c : programming distributed over the Internet that is designed to be viewed in the same format as broadcast television A couple of couch companions watching TV on tablets might not see the same thing any more, even when watching the same shows. Ad personalization—routine for most of the Web—has come to streaming television.— Donna Howell The quarter was the 10th anniversary of Netflix's streaming service, which began with the vision that internet television would ultimately replace traditional television.— Emily Steel

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Synonyms for television


boob tube, box, idiot box, telly [chiefly British], tube, TV

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Examples of television in a Sentence

people who turn on the television the minute they walk in the door

Recent Examples on the Web

These television power pairs are each other's closest confidantes, allies, and cheerleaders. Samantha Leach, Glamour, "The Secret to Having the Best Relationship With Your Work Wife," 7 Mar. 2019 In 2019, traditional network television is still devoid of a female late night talk show host. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Emma Thompson's Late Night Promises a Comedic Behind-the-Scenes Look at Network TV," 7 Mar. 2019 The pool and spa area include an outdoor television, fire pit, built-in grill, beer tap, icemaker, sink and fridge. Cator Sparks, House Beautiful, "Spice Girl Mel B's Los Angeles Home is on the Market for $5.9 Million," 6 Mar. 2019 Backstage before the show, Tom Pecheux and Jimmy Paul were busy kitting out the models in television-blue eyeshadow and seriously dramatic bouffants. Amanda Brooks, Vogue, "Ladies and Gentlemen, We’re Live From the Moschino Game Show!," 26 Feb. 2019 But Riverdale feels more like a (highly entertaining) primetime soap opera, whereas Sabrina embraces full-blown horror without bowing to the niceties imposed by network television. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Chilling Adventures of Sabrina," 18 Dec. 2018 A month before the royal wedding, King hosted the television special Meghan Markle: An American Princess on CBS, which chronicled the new duchess' life–from grade school to her time on Suits–leading up to her stunning nuptials to Prince Harry. Nicole Saunders, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle and Gayle King's Friendship: Everything We Know," 21 Feb. 2019 The television anchor uploaded a slideshow of pictures of his glamorous model-artist-socialite-mother on Instagram, and coupled the images with a touching caption. Roxanne Adamiyatt, Town & Country, "Anderson Cooper Pays Tribute to His Mother Gloria Vanderbilt on Her 95th Birthday," 20 Feb. 2019 Madden received a round of applause during her speech about ending gender bias and wage disparity in the film and television industry. Jonathan Landrum Jr., The Seattle Times, "Costume Designers Guild honors Ruth E. Carter, Glenn Close," 20 Feb. 2019

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

1900, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for television

French télévision, from télé- tele- + vision vision

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Statistics for television

Last Updated

14 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for television

The first known use of television was in 1900

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English Language Learners Definition of television

: an electronic system of sending images and sounds by a wire or through space
: a piece of equipment with a screen that receives images and sounds sent by television
: programs that are broadcast by television


tele·​vi·​sion | \ ˈte-lə-ˌvi-zhən How to pronounce television (audio) \

Kids Definition of television

1 : an electronic system of sending images and sound over a wire or through space by devices that change light and sound into electrical signals and then change these back into light and sound
2 : a piece of equipment with a screen and speakers that reproduces images and sound
3 : programs that are broadcast by television

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Comments on television

What made you want to look up television? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to boil down or concentrate

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