wire·​less | \ ˈwī(-ə)r-ləs \

Definition of wireless

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : having no wire or wires specifically : operating by means of transmitted electromagnetic waves a wireless remote
2a : of or relating to radiotelephony, radiotelegraph, or radio a wireless phone
b : of or relating to data communications using radio waves wireless Internet access



Definition of wireless (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : telecommunication (such as wireless telegraphy or radiotelephony) involving signals transmitted by radio waves rather than over wires also : the technology used in radio telecommunication
2 chiefly British : radio

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Other Words from wireless


wirelessly adverb

Examples of wireless in a Sentence


The video game console comes with wireless controllers. The café offers free wireless Internet access.


She listened to the wireless every Monday night.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Maxwell’s paradigm has worked just fine without magnetic charges; his insights made possible most modern technology, from electrical power generation to wireless communications to computers. Adam Hadhazy, Discover Magazine, "Scientists Hunt for A Seeming Paradox: A Magnet With Only One Pole," 13 Nov. 2018 Installation of fiber optic cable and wireless radio communications will allow interaction between Gwinnett’s Traffic Control Center and the signals and traffic monitoring cameras along the routes. Karen Huppertz, ajc, "State partners with Gwinnett to install smart signals," 11 May 2018 The researchers note that there are still real problems at this point with ultrasonic technologies—not that they are being used for wireless communication at all, but that currently the technology is immature. Lily Hay Newman, WIRED, "Ultrasonic Signals Are the Wild West of Wireless Tech," 17 Apr. 2018 Scientists have also envisioned graphene be used to create clean drinking water and provide ultrafast wireless communication, among many other uses. Janissa Delzo, Newsweek, "Graphene: The Miracle Material That’s As Light As Foil, But Can Stop A Bullet," 25 Dec. 2017 If Verizon and other wireless providers can offer a viable alternative to cable, satellite, and their ilk, consumers could enjoy lower prices as well as more choices. Martyn Williams, PCWorld, "Verizon could provide the first 5G home Internet service in the United States, coming in October," 12 Sep. 2018 And to hold onto creative people is harder than holding onto wireless providers and dealing with things like that. Recode Staff, Recode, "Full transcript: Recode’s Peter Kafka on Too Embarrassed to Ask," 28 June 2018 That is much higher than pay-TV (around 2%) and wireless providers (closer to 1%). The Economist, "Netflix is moving television beyond time-slots and national markets," 28 June 2018 That can only make the two wireless service providers feel more confident about their $26.5 billion deal to join forces. New York Times, "The Winners and Losers From the AT&T Verdict," 13 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Google is opening up its Project Fi nationwide wireless service to way more phones, including the hottest iPhones, Galaxy phones, and GSM-only Android phones of the year. Michael Simon, PCWorld, "Google Fi wireless service now works with iPhones and most Android phones, but there’s a catch," 28 Nov. 2018 The wireless industry has long been able to remotely disable cellphone if they are lost or stolen. Don Thompson, The Seattle Times, "APNewsBreak: Judges crack down on illicit inmate cellphones," 24 July 2018 The changing of the guard comes at a time when the wireless industry as a whole is grappling with new technologies and a wave of consolidation. New York Times, "At Verizon, a Changing of the Guard as It Pursues 5G," 8 June 2018 Or at least that's what both the US government and the wireless industry say. Klint Finley, WIRED, "Does It Matter If China Beats the US to Build a 5G Network?," 6 June 2018 The wireless industry is in a race to roll out 5G service. CBS News, "5G service is coming – and so are health concerns over the towers that support it," 29 May 2018 This isn't necessarily contradictory, as technology improvements can lower the cost of broadband deployment, and the spending data also includes wireless and cable deployments. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "AT&T/Verizon lobby misunderstands arrow of time, makes impossible claim," 6 Dec. 2018 The Solemate Max allows for both wireless and wired connectivity through Bluetooth, the NFC zone, the jack connector for handsets, or the USB port for PCs. Will Dietrich-egensteiner, Popular Mechanics, "Jabra Solemate Max Review: Bigger Yet Similar," 4 Feb. 2014 Greyhound has bus service across the country, and regional bus lines, such as the East Coast's Bolt Bus, oftentimes offer wireless and low fares. Maitland Greer, Good Housekeeping, "Budget-Friendly Holiday Travel Tips," 29 Nov. 2012

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


1894, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1903, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for wireless

Last Updated

16 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for wireless

The first known use of wireless was in 1894

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More Definitions for wireless



English Language Learners Definition of wireless

: not using wires to send and receive electronic signals : sending and receiving electronic signals by using radio waves
: of or relating to the use of radio waves to send and receive electronic signals


wire·​less | \ ˈwīr-ləs \

Kids Definition of wireless

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: relating to communication by electromagnetic waves but without connecting wires : radio



Kids Definition of wireless (Entry 2 of 2)

: a computer, telephone, or network that uses radio waves to send and receive electronic signals

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More from Merriam-Webster on wireless

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with wireless

Spanish Central: Translation of wireless

Nglish: Translation of wireless for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of wireless for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about wireless

Comments on wireless

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


a servile follower or underling

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