What does modulation mean?

Definitions for modulation
ˌmɒdʒ əˈleɪ ʃən, ˌmɒd yə-mod·u·la·tion

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word modulation.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. transition, modulationnoun

    a musical passage moving from one key to another

  2. modulationnoun

    (electronics) the transmission of a signal by using it to vary a carrier wave; changing the carrier's amplitude or frequency or phase

  3. intonation, modulation, pitch contournoun

    rise and fall of the voice pitch

  4. modulation, inflectionnoun

    a manner of speaking in which the loudness or pitch or tone of the voice is modified

  5. modulationnoun

    the act of modifying or adjusting according to due measure and proportion (as with regard to artistic effect)


  1. modulationnoun

    The process of applying a signal to a carrier, modulating.

  2. modulationnoun

    Methods of modulating.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Modulationnoun

    Etymology: from modulate;modulation, Fr.

    The number of the simple original minerals have not been rightly fixt: the matter of two or more kinds being mixed together, and by the different proportion and modulation of that matter variously diversified, have been reputed all different kinds. John Woodward.

    The speech, as it is a sound resulting from the modulation of the air, has most affinity to the spirit, but, as it is uttered by the tongue, has immediate cognation with the body, and so is the fittest instrument to manage a commerce between the invisible powers of human souls cloathed in flesh. Government of the Tongue.

    Innumerous songsters, in the freshening shade,
    Their modulations mix, mellifluous. James Thomson, Spring.


  1. Modulation

    In electronics and telecommunications, modulation is the process of varying one or more properties of a periodic waveform, called the carrier signal, with a separate signal called the modulation signal that typically contains information to be transmitted. For example, the modulation signal might be an audio signal representing sound from a microphone, a video signal representing moving images from a video camera, or a digital signal representing a sequence of binary digits, a bitstream from a computer. The carrier is higher in frequency than the modulation signal. In radio communication the modulated carrier is transmitted through space as a radio wave to a radio receiver. Another purpose is to transmit multiple channels of information through a single communication medium, using frequency-division multiplexing (FDM). For example in cable television which uses FDM, many carrier signals, each modulated with a different television channel, are transported through a single cable to customers. Since each carrier occupies a different frequency, the channels do not interfere with each other. At the destination end, the carrier signal is demodulated to extract the information bearing modulation signal. A modulator is a device or circuit that performs modulation. A demodulator (sometimes detector) is a circuit that performs demodulation, the inverse of modulation. A modem (from modulator–demodulator), used in bidirectional communication, can perform both operations. The frequency band occupied by the modulation signal is called the baseband, while the higher frequency band occupied by the modulated carrier is called the passband. In analog modulation an analog modulation signal is impressed on the carrier. Examples are amplitude modulation (AM) in which the amplitude (strength) of the carrier wave is varied by the modulation signal, and frequency modulation (FM) in which the frequency of the carrier wave is varied by the modulation signal. These were the earliest types of modulation, and are used to transmit an audio signal representing sound, in AM and FM radio broadcasting. More recent systems use digital modulation, which impresses a digital signal consisting of a sequence of binary digits (bits), a bitstream, on the carrier, by means of mapping bits to elements from a discrete alphabet to be transmitted. This alphabet can consist of a set of real or complex numbers, or sequences, like oscillations of different frequencies, so-called frequency-shift keying (FSK) modulation. A more complicated digital modulation method that employs multiple carriers, orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (OFDM), is used in WiFi networks, digital radio stations and digital cable television transmission.


  1. modulation

    Modulation is a process that involves manipulating a carrier signal (usually a sine wave) in order to embed or transmit information using that signal. This can be accomplished by varying the signal's amplitude (amplitude modulation or AM), frequency (frequency modulation or FM), phase (phase modulation or PM), or a combination of these properties. Modulation is widely used in telecommunications, radio broadcasting, and signal processing.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Modulationnoun

    the act of modulating, or the state of being modulated; as, the modulation of the voice

  2. Modulationnoun

    sound modulated; melody

  3. Modulationnoun

    a change of key, whether transient, or until the music becomes established in the new key; a shifting of the tonality of a piece, so that the harmonies all center upon a new keynote or tonic; the art of transition out of the original key into one nearly related, and so on, it may be, by successive changes, into a key quite remote. There are also sudden and unprepared modulations

  4. Etymology: [L. modulatio: cf. F. modulation.]


  1. Modulation

    In electronics and telecommunications, modulation is the process of varying one or more properties of a periodic waveform, called the carrier signal, with a modulating signal which typically contains information to be transmitted. This is done in a similar fashion to a musician modulating a tone from a musical instrument by varying its volume, timing and pitch. The three key parameters of a periodic waveform are its amplitude, its phase and its frequency. Any of these properties can be modified in accordance with a low frequency signal to obtain the modulated signal. Typically a high-frequency sinusoid waveform is used as carrier signal, but a square wave pulse train may also be used. In telecommunications, modulation is the process of conveying a message signal, for example a digital bit stream or an analog audio signal, inside another signal that can be physically transmitted. Modulation of a sine waveform is used to transform a baseband message signal into a passband signal, for example low-frequency audio signal into a radio-frequency signal. In radio communications, cable TV systems or the public switched telephone network for instance, electrical signals can only be transferred over a limited passband frequency spectrum, with specific lower and upper cutoff frequencies. Modulating a sine-wave carrier makes it possible to keep the frequency content of the transferred signal as close as possible to the centre frequency of the passband.

How to pronounce modulation?

How to say modulation in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of modulation in Chaldean Numerology is: 6

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of modulation in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of modulation in a Sentence

  1. Leandro Casiraghi:

    We believe this modulation aims to take advantage of such moonlit nights which may be good for safe outdoor activities such as hunting or fishing, or for engaging in social interactions with other groups.

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Translations for modulation

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"modulation." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 4 Oct. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/modulation>.

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