mo·​dem | \ ˈmō-dəm How to pronounce modem (audio) also -ˌdem How to pronounce modem (audio) \
plural modems

Definition of modem

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a device that converts signals produced by one type of device (such as a computer) to a form compatible with another (such as a telephone) and that is used especially to transmit and receive information between computers via landlines


modemed; modeming; modems

Definition of modem (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to send (something, such as data) via a modem

Examples of modem in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The company’s shares had been stagnant in recent weeks, perhaps over lingering investor concerns around Apple’s efforts to design an in-house cellular modem chip to ditch Qualcomm as a supplier to iPhones. Mike Freeman, San Diego Union-Tribune, 3 Nov. 2021 Apple agreed to license Qualcomm’s patents for six years, as well as buy its modem chips for iPhones for an undisclosed number of years. Mike Freeman, San Diego Union-Tribune, 8 Oct. 2021 Qualcomm's Snapdragon Chassis includes its Car-to-Cloud , Snapdragon Ride , and Automotive Cockpit platforms, as well as its Snapdragon Automotive 4G or 5G modem. Patrick Moorhead, Forbes, 9 Sep. 2021 Whether the Apple 5G modem does arrive with the 2023 iPhone series or not, 2023 already looks like an exciting year for iPhones. Jacob Siegal, BGR, 10 May 2021 It is controlled wirelessly from the surface using an optical modem. Jennifer Berglund, Scientific American, 21 Sep. 2017 Netgear recently made the news after announcing a spate of cybersecurity and privacy features for its in-modem Netgear Armor security product. - Make Genius Money Moves, Forbes, 30 Aug. 2021 Qualcomm makes processors and components for nearly every phone sold today, including the 5G modem and other parts for Apple’s iPhone. Michael Simon, PCWorld, 12 Mar. 2021 Kuo’s revelation comes from his discovery that Apple will use a customized version of the Qualcomm X60 modem, which has already been confirmed for the iPhone 13 range thanks to court documents signed by the two companies. Gordon Kelly, Forbes, 31 Aug. 2021

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


circa 1952, in the meaning defined above


1984, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for modem


modulator + demodulator

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Time Traveler for modem

Time Traveler

The first known use of modem was circa 1952

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Dictionary Entries Near modem

Model T



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Statistics for modem

Last Updated

27 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Modem.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for modem



English Language Learners Definition of modem

: a device that changes the form of electric signals so that information can be sent through telephone lines from one computer to another computer


mo·​dem | \ ˈmō-dəm How to pronounce modem (audio) , -ˌdem \

Kids Definition of modem

: a device that changes electrical signals from one form to another and is used especially to send or receive computer data over a telephone line

More from Merriam-Webster on modem

Nglish: Translation of modem for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of modem for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about modem


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