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

As some of us know from television and others know from drunk-texting their colorist post-breakup, platinum hair tends to appear during a time of major personal shift. Leah Prinzivalli, Allure, "Chilling Adventures of Sabrina," 5 Apr. 2019 Naturally, the besties hit the red carpet in style, and while we're used to seeing them on our television screens in their Game of Thrones costumes, the special evening had them in totally glamorous looks. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams Matched at the “Game of Thrones” Red Carpet Premiere," 4 Apr. 2019 Kristin Cavallari made her television debut on MTV's hit teen reality show Laguna Beach back in 2004. Nicole Saunders, Harper's BAZAAR, "Watch Kristin Cavallari's Nightly Beauty Routine," 2 Apr. 2019 The French-Canadian artist will be making her debut for the French beauty giant in an Excellence Hair Color television campaign shot in Paris, premiering worldwide on April 22. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "Céline Dion Is the New Face of L’Oréal Paris—And More Iconic Than Ever," 2 Apr. 2019 The 2018 tournament brought in $844.3 million in television and marketing rights, the vast majority from a contract with CBS and Turner Sports to televise the games. Larry Fenn, The Seattle Times, "Money Madness: AP analysis shows growing gap in NCAA payouts," 27 Mar. 2019 Consider this Spanish-style home in Griffith Park, Los Angeles, that Frances Merrill of Reath Design revamped for a television screenwriter-producer and his wife and two daughters. Vanessa Lawrence, ELLE Decor, "Reath Design Crafts a Bright, Elegant Home for a Young Family," 22 Mar. 2019 Though people with disabilities, scars, and facial differences are rarely seen at A-list award shows, mainstream events, or even on television at all, Blair remained stunning, confident, and unapologetic throughout the event. Ariel Henley, Allure, "How Fashion Lets Me Embrace the Physical Differences Caused by Crouzon Syndrome," 12 Mar. 2019 Abhinandan Varthaman was released at the border and walked into India in a dramatic evening handover that was broadcast on television in both countries. Bill Spindle, WSJ, "Defusing a Calibrated Clash, Pakistan Releases Indian Pilot," 1 Mar. 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

11 Apr 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 move or proceed with twists and turns

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