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 However, the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission has not ruled out limited human-to-human transmission, revealing a woman may have contracted the virus from her husband. NBC News, "China reports second death from mystery coronavirus," 17 Jan. 2020 The internal combustion engine is joined by a 71hp (53kW) permanent magnet synchronous electric motor, the two working together to drive the front wheels through a continuously variable transmission, for a total system output of 121hp (90kW). Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "The 2020 Toyota Prius Prime plug-in proves pleasing, perhaps pedestrian," 14 Jan. 2020 All versions will have 10-speed automatic transmissions, more efficient than the current six-speed gearboxes. Tim Krisher,, "As climate change fears grow, GM unveils larger, heavier Chevy SUVs," 11 Dec. 2019 All versions will have 10-speed automatic transmissions, more efficient than the current six-speed gearboxes. Washington Post, "Amid climate change concern, GM rolls out big new Chevy SUVs," 11 Dec. 2019 Viral suppression effectively means no risk of transmission of the virus. Nadia Kounang, CNN, "New government program provides HIV prevention drugs for uninsured," 3 Dec. 2019 Treatment at all three stages can prevent or slow symptoms and reduce the risk of transmission, the CDC says. Ryan W. Miller, USA TODAY, "World AIDS Day 2019: 37.9M people worldwide were living with HIV at the end of 2018," 2 Dec. 2019 The number of new cases of HIV transmitted in the U.S. today is similar to rates of transmission two decades ago, Saag noted. Ivana Hrynkiw |, al, "1917 Clinic surges into a fourth decade fighting HIV," 1 Dec. 2019 With early diagnosis and adherence to a simple, daily medication regimen, people with HIV can live as long as anyone else and have no risk of transmission. Keren Landman, Quartz, "How community support is helping black gay men with HIV thrive," 1 Dec. 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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Time Traveler for transmission

Time Traveler

The first known use of transmission was in 1611

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Statistics for transmission

Last Updated

24 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Transmission.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 25 January 2020.

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More Definitions for transmission


How to pronounce transmission (audio)

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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Comments on transmission

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


dull or mediocre

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