trans·​mis·​sion | \ tran(t)s-ˈmi-shən How to pronounce transmission (audio) , 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 How to pronounce transmissive (audio) , ˌtranz-​ \ adjective
transmissivity \ ˌtran(t)s-​(ˌ)mi-​ˈsi-​və-​tē How to pronounce transmissivity (audio) , 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

Amid similar conditions last November, the deadliest and most destructive fire in California history was ignited by PG&E electrical transmission lines near Pulga in Butte County. Jason Green, The Mercury News, "PG&E to shut off power in North Bay because of wildfire risk," 7 June 2019 IOGear’s new Share Pro wireless HDMI transmitter/receiver kit offers something rather interesting: 60GHz transmissions, connected using either a dongle form factor or a USB-C connector slot. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "IOGear's wireless HDMI extender embeds 60GHz technology in a USB-C dongle," 5 June 2019 Heavy pieces of equipment were neatly arranged across the floor: transmissions, drive shafts, engines and a commercial truck cab, its hood wide open. Katherine Long, The Seattle Times, "Students who beat steep odds credit Washington educators who wouldn’t give up on them," 4 Feb. 2019 Even in base form, its standard-gear litany includes automatic emergency braking, a rear camera, an automatic transmission, and a seven-inch touchscreen. Al Haas,, "Nissan's Kicks is a cute, useful hatchback, not a crossover," 5 July 2018 Unlike Hepatitis C which requires blood-to-blood contact for transmission, Hepatitis A can be transmitted from food handlers spreading the disease through unclean hands. Justin L. Mack, Indianapolis Star, "What you need to know: Indiana Burger King worker with Hepatitis A handled food while sick," 6 June 2018 In its public filing to the Commerce Department, American MSC, a Michigan company that manufactures springs for automotive transmissions, argued that the few goods it imports are often components of other products. New York Times, "Disarray Plagues U.S. Companies’ Efforts to Win Tariff Exemptions," 13 May 2018 An emergency locator transmission — which goes off on impact of a crash — pinged from about one mile southeast of Whittier, Johnson said. Michelle Theriault Boots, Anchorage Daily News, "Pilot killed in plane crash near Whittier," 13 May 2018 Don't expect a manual transmission, as that option was already killed from the V-6 this year and likely hasn't been engineered to work with the straight-six. Daniel Golson, Car and Driver, "The Jaguar F-Type Is Getting a Major Facelift with Some Radical Changes," 20 May 2019

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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Statistics for transmission

Last Updated

13 Jun 2019

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 How to pronounce transmission (audio) \

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 How to pronounce transmission (audio) , tranz- How to pronounce transmission (audio) \

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- How to pronounce transmission (audio) \

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

Comments on transmission

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