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

Voters had to wash their hands before entering polling stations Sunday in an effort to prevent disease transmission. Al-hadji Kudra Maliro, The Seattle Times, "Delayed Congo legislative vote begins in Ebola-hit areas," 31 Mar. 2019 The virus can be transmitted from oral or skin surfaces that appear normal and show no symptoms, though active sores do pose the greatest risk for transmission. Michelle Gant, Fox News, "Parents whose newborn babies died from herpes warn about deadly virus," 19 July 2018 In so doing, people sometimes handle and even bathe the animals, raising the risk for bacterial transmission, the study notes. National Geographic, "Humans Gave Leprosy to Armadillos. Now, They’re Giving It Back," 28 June 2018 But for the regular transmission, certainly that’s extremely likely. Helen Branswell, STAT, "Health officials cautiously optimistic dangerous Ebola outbreak is over," 21 June 2018 The big utilities would retain responsibility for transmission and distribution lines. Michael Hiltzik,, "Consumer choice has suddenly revolutionized the electricity business in California. But utilities are striking back," 8 June 2018 Those accounted for 25 million ad impressions — a measure of how many times the spot was pulled from a server for transmission to a device. Nick Penzenstadler, Brad Heath, Jessica Guynn, USA TODAY, "We read every one of the 3,517 Facebook ads bought by Russians. Their dominant strategy: Sowing racial discord," 11 May 2018 The prototype of the system uses 1,000 to 10,000 times less power than current streaming technology, although the streaming camera still relies on a small battery for continuous transmission. Laura Yan, Popular Mechanics, "Researchers May Have Solved HD Streaming's Battery Problem," 21 Apr. 2018 The zero-emissions electricity is then carried to the collector yard where the voltage is boosted for transmission through the electric grid, according to the application with the city. Austen Erblat,, "FPL gets site plan and plat approval for Westlake solar plant," 6 Apr. 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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Statistics for transmission

Last Updated

18 Apr 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

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


an act or instance of returning to life

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