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

The opposition was denied coverage in the state media, which had a monopoly on all television and radio broadcasts. Washington Post, "Mugabe’s anti-colonial rage fueled long reign over Zimbabwe," 8 Sep. 2019 Axelrod's career began in the 1970s, during which the former guitarist pursued music before transitioning into television and film. Evan Real, The Hollywood Reporter, "Robert Axelrod, 'Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers' Voice Actor, Dies at 70," 8 Sep. 2019 Lynley’s career as an actress spans movies, television, and commercials beginning with her debut as a teenager in Clairol and Pepsodent commercials in the 1950s. Maureen Lee Lenker,, "The Poseidon Adventure actress Carol Lynley dies at 77," 6 Sep. 2019 With some drafts as cheap as $2/pint, two rooms with high-def televisions and a atmosphere for all teams’ fans, Chasers is perfect for the person who wants to get lit on a budget. Baltimore Sun Staff,, "Where to watch Ravens (or your favorite NFL team) play in Baltimore," 6 Sep. 2019 Three elderly Korean war-rape victims spoke out on television and inspired her to do the same. The Economist, "Obituary: Jan Ruff O’Herne died on August 19th," 5 Sep. 2019 Police do not suspect the other minors were involved in the lethal game, which is often seen on television and films. Pete Grieve,, "‘Russian roulette’-style shooting injures 17-year-old boy in Fairfield," 5 Sep. 2019 Selsman, a director, said of her mother’s love for film and television. Alexia Fernandez,, "Carol Lynley, Star of The Poseidon Adventure and Former Girlfriend to David Frost, Dies at 77," 5 Sep. 2019 The woman reported to police July 14 that someone broke into her home and stole several items, including four televisions and $400 worth of children’s clothes. Adam Ferrise,, "Escaped Cuyahoga County Jail inmate was charged in a series of suspected domestic violence incidents against his girlfriend," 4 Sep. 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

12 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for television

The first known use of television was in 1900

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More Definitions for television



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).


concealment of treason or felony

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