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


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modemed; modeming; modems

transitive verb

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

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web
Then a rack of radio receivers let loose the whistles, screeches, and crashes of a modem handshake. David W. Brown, The New Yorker, 21 Nov. 2022 This new modem is a significant upgrade over the Snapdragon X60 that shipped in the iPhone 13. Jacob Siegal, BGR, 20 Sep. 2022 However, this modem is only the beginning of this journey; Qualcomm Technologies is currently exploring over a dozen research areas for 5G enhancements with AI including channel state feedbacks and mmWave beam management. Karl Freund, Forbes, 21 June 2022 Device makers should be pleased to learn the modem also supports dual, simultaneous 5G SIMs. Dave Leclair, PCMAG, 10 Nov. 2022 An influential Apple supply-chain analyst reported back in June that Apple’s efforts to develop its own modem had hit a snag and were unlikely to be ready for the 2023 iPhones. Dan Gallagher, WSJ, 3 Nov. 2022 The delta for the addition of the modem needs to decrease, but equally important, at least several months of a data plan need to be included in the price of the device. Bob O’donnell, USA TODAY, 2 Nov. 2022 The company has made smaller cuts since then and shuttered several divisions, including its cellular modem and drone units. Time, 12 Oct. 2022 In order to find out just how significant, SmartSpeed put the modem through its paces. Jacob Siegal, BGR, 20 Sep. 2022 See More

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.

Word History



modulator + demodulator

First Known Use


circa 1952, in the meaning defined above


1984, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of modem was circa 1952

Dictionary Entries Near modem

Cite this Entry

“Modem.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition



: a device that changes signals from one form to a form which can be used by another kind of equipment
computer information is sent over telephone lines using a modem

More from Merriam-Webster on modem

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