trans·mis·sion | \ tran(t)s-ˈmi-shən , tranz- \

Definition of transmission 

1 : an act, process, or instance of transmitting transmission of a nerve impulse across a synapse

2 : the passage of radio waves in the space between transmitting and receiving stations also : the act or process of transmitting by radio or television

3 : an assembly of parts including the speed-changing gears and the driveshaft by which the power is transmitted from an engine to a live axle also : the speed-changing gears in such an assembly

4 : something that is transmitted : message

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Other words from transmission

transmissive \tran(t)s-ˈmi-siv, ˌtranz- \ adjective
transmissivity \ˌtran(t)s-(ˌ)mi-ˈsi-və-tē, ˌtranz- \ noun

Did You Know?

Since trans- means "across", it's not hard to see the meaning of transmission. Disease transmission occurs when an infection passes from one living thing to another. TV signal transmission can be interrupted by tree leaves, including moving leaves and branches during a storm. Your car's transmission transmits the engine's power to the axle, changing the gears to keep the engine working with maximum efficiency at various speeds.

Examples of transmission in a Sentence

The equipment is used for the transmission of television signals. We are receiving a live transmission from the scene of the accident. the transmission of knowledge from one generation to the next My car has a manual transmission. This car comes with automatic transmission.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Diaz takes over the company as crews continue restoring power to the last 1,000 or so customers who have been without power since Maria hit on Sept. 20 and destroyed up to 75 percent of transmission lines across the island. Danica Coto,, "CEO of Puerto Rico's bankrupt power company abruptly resigns," 11 July 2018 While most residents have their power back, it has been interrupted at times by blackouts, including one caused by a bulldozer hitting a transmission line. NBC News, "U.S. plans to remove backup power generators in Puerto Rico. Officials worry it's hurricane season.," 11 July 2018 There are port facilities at the mouth of the fjord, towers garlanded by hundreds of miles of transmission lines, five smelters and a refinery, all owned by the area’s largest private employer and top aluminum shipper to the U.S., Rio Tinto Group. Danielle Bochove,, "Trump’s Trade War Looms Over a Canadian Town Built to Supply America," 28 June 2018 The island’s power system now has a generating capacity of some 5,000 megawatts and includes six fossil fuel and seven hydroelectric generation sites and nearly 31,500 miles of distribution lines and nearly 2,500 miles of transmission lines. Washington Post, "Puerto Rico gov signs bill to privatize power company assets," 20 June 2018 If neither of those options is feasible, Aberdeen and Havre de Grace would have to install a new transmission line from one city to the other, the cost for which would be shared by each city. Erika Butler, The Aegis, "Aberdeen to continue water talks with Havre de Grace, nail down costs," 14 June 2018 But 21,214 of those people—15%—did not know their status, and that fuels the state's high transmission rate. Jon Cohen, Science | AAAS, "‘We’re in a mess.’ Why Florida is struggling with an unusually severe HIV/AIDS problem," 13 June 2018 Vineyard Wind plans to run its underwater transmission line along the channel between the Vineyard and Nantucket, and across the sound where Cape Wind had been proposed, before connecting to the mainland on Cape Cod. Jon Chesto,, "Two big wind farms to rise off coast of Martha’s Vineyard," 23 May 2018 In fact, the strains were genetically different on different continents—suggesting that C. auris had not begun in one place and then spread by transmission, but had arisen simultaneously everywhere, for reasons no one could discern. Maryn Mckenna, WIRED, "The Strange and Curious Case of the Deadly Superbug Yeast," 13 July 2018

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

1611, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for transmission

Middle French, from Latin transmission-, transmissio, from transmittere to transmit

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Phrases Related to transmission

automatic transmission

manual transmission

Statistics for transmission

Last Updated

19 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for transmission

The first known use of transmission was in 1611

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More Definitions for transmission



English Language Learners Definition of transmission

: the act or process of sending electrical signals to a radio, television, computer, etc.

: something (such as a message or broadcast) that is transmitted to a radio, television, etc.

: the act or process by which something is spread or passed from one person or thing to another


trans·mis·sion | \ trans-ˈmi-shən \

Kids Definition of transmission

1 : an act or process of transmitting, spreading, or passing along the transmission of a disease

2 : the gears that pass power from the engine to the axle that gives motion to a motor vehicle


trans·mis·sion | \ tran(t)s-ˈmish-ən , tranz- \

Medical Definition of transmission 

: an act, process, or instance of transmitting transmission of HIV synaptic transmission

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trans·mis·sion | \ tranz-ˈmi-shən, trans- \

Legal Definition of transmission 

: an act, process, or instance of transmitting

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More from Merriam-Webster on transmission

Spanish Central: Translation of transmission

Nglish: Translation of transmission for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of transmission for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about transmission

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