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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from transmission

transmissive \ tran(t)s-​ˈmi-​siv How to pronounce transmission (audio) , ˌtranz-​ \ adjective
transmissivity \ ˌtran(t)s-​(ˌ)mi-​ˈsi-​və-​tē How to pronounce transmission (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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Experts say the evolution of the virus raises the urgency for vaccinating the public and practicing behaviors like masking and physical distancing that reduce further transmission. Lauren Caruba, San Antonio Express-News, "A more contagious coronavirus variant is in San Antonio. Now what?," 13 Feb. 2021 This week, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released findings that double-masking—wearing one face mask on top the other—can be an effective way to reduce the transmission of the coronavirus that causes Covid-19. Boone Ashworth, Wired, "How to Double Mask," 11 Feb. 2021 Mask mandates and business restrictions to reduce viral transmission have had an impact beyond COVID-19, as new state data on Thursday showed a historically slow start to the influenza season. Jeremy Olson, Star Tribune, "Minnesota's vaccine allocation increases to 871,650 doses," 22 Jan. 2021 Indoor air control is the next frontier to improve human health and reduce transmission of various types of viruses, including SARS-COV-2. Akiko Iwasaki, Scientific American, "Another Way to Protect Against COVID Beyond Masking and Social Distancing," 19 Jan. 2021 State officials have repeatedly blocked localities’ efforts to reduce transmission. Lauren Caruba,, "Hospitals full. Thousands infected with coronavirus each week. San Antonio pays the price for failing to flatten the curve.," 16 Jan. 2021 Preliminary evidence suggets that the AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines may reduce transmission. Maddie Bender, Popular Science, "Does it matter which COVID-19 vaccine you get?," 7 Jan. 2021 That’s why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends continuing to use all tools known to reduce transmission, even after you get vaccinated. Meryl Davids Landau, Good Housekeeping, "All Your COVID-19 Vaccine Questions, Answered," 6 Jan. 2021 Given restrictions on large gatherings intended to reduce the transmission of the coronavirus, the market for balloons, streamers, party decorations and costumes is naturally limited. Nathan Bomey, USA TODAY, "More store closings in 2021? These are the most vulnerable major retailers of 2021 as pandemic continues," 30 Dec. 2020

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about transmission

Time Traveler for transmission

Time Traveler

The first known use of transmission was in 1611

See more words from the same year

Statistics for transmission

Last Updated

21 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Transmission.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more


trans·​mis·​sion | \ tranz-ˈmi-shən, trans- How to pronounce transmission (audio) \

Legal Definition of transmission

: an act, process, or instance of transmitting

Keep scrolling for more

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Who Knew?

How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!