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[bawd] /bɔd/
noun, Telecommunications.
a unit used to measure the speed of signaling or data transfer, equal to the number of pulses or bits per second:
baud rate.
Origin of baud
1925-30; named after J. M. E. Baudot (1845-1903), French inventor
Can be confused
baud, bawd. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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British Dictionary definitions for baud


a unit used to measure the speed of electronic code transmissions, equal to one unit interval per second
Word Origin
C20: named after J. M. E. Baudot (1845–1903), French inventor
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for baud

1932, originally a unit of speed in telegraphy, coined in French in 1929 in honor of French inventor and engineer Jean-Maurice-Émile Baudot (1845-1903), who designed a telegraph printing system.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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baud in Technology

communications, unit
/bawd/ (plural "baud") The unit in which the information carrying capacity or "signalling rate" of a communication channel is measured. One baud is one symbol (state-transition or level-transition) per second. This coincides with bits per second only for two-level modulation with no framing or stop bits.
A symbol is a unique state of the communication channel, distinguishable by the receiver from all other possible states. For example, it may be one of two voltage levels on a wire for a direct digital connection or it might be the phase or frequency of a carrier.
The term "baud" was originally a unit of telegraph signalling speed, set at one Morse code dot per second. Or, more generally, the reciprocal of the duration of the shortest signalling element. It was proposed at the International Telegraph Conference of 1927, and named after J.M.E. Baudot (1845-1903), the French engineer who constructed the first successful teleprinter.
The UK PSTN will support a maximum rate of 600 baud but each baud may carry between 1 and 16 bits depending on the coding (e.g. QAM).
Where data is transmitted as packets, e.g. characters, the actual "data rate" of a channel is
R D / P
where R is the "raw" rate in bits per second, D is the number of data bits in a packet and P is the total number of bits in a packet (including packet overhead).
The term "baud" causes much confusion and is usually best avoided. Use "bits per second" (bps), "bytes per second" or "characters per second" (cps) if that's what you mean.

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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