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90s Slang You Should Know


or convertor

[kuh n-vur-ter] /kənˈvɜr tər/
a person or thing that converts.
Electricity. a device that converts alternating current to direct current or vice versa.
Metallurgy. a chamber or vessel through which an oxidizing blast of air is forced, as in making steel by the Bessemer process.
Television. decoder (def 5).
Radio and Television. an auxiliary device that permits a receiver to pick up frequencies or channels for which it was not originally designed.
Physics. a reactor for converting one kind of fuel into another kind.
a person who is engaged in converting textile fabrics, especially cotton cloths, from the raw state into the finished product ready for the market by bleaching, dyeing, etc.
Also called converter lens. Photography. an additional lens attached to a lens in use on a camera to alter focal length, mounted in front of a lens to produce a wide-angle effect (wide-angle converter) or between the lens and the camera body to produce a telephoto effect (teleconverter or extender)
Origin of converter
First recorded in 1525-35; convert1 + -er1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for converter
Historical Examples
  • In it the steel heats the converter, whereas in the open-hearth and crucible processes the furnace heats the steel.

  • More iron is put into the converter, and the work begins again.

    Diggers in the Earth Eva March Tappan
  • To mass produce the converter will take time—factories will have to be tooled up for it, and all that.

    Damned If You Don't Gordon Randall Garrett
  • Since the Rebels have no three converter ships, she has to be one of ours.

    A Question of Courage Jesse Franklin Bone
  • By this process, the iron is put into a "converter" along with certain Swedish or Cuban ores to give the product hardness.

    Commercial Geography Jacques W. Redway
  • Thomas was opening a panel on the side of the converter unit.

    Greylorn John Keith Laumer
  • You couldn't do it no more, so you had to buy this converter to go with your radio to get it.

    Warren Commission (12 of 26): Hearings Vol. XII (of 15) The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy
  • A faint smell of "heat" began to creep out of the converter.

    The Ultimate Weapon John Wood Campbell
  • He boosted me into the chamber of the converter and pointed out an opening near the top, about twelve by twenty-four inches.

    Greylorn John Keith Laumer
  • The converter won't be worth the stuff it's made of if they try to open it.

    Damned If You Don't Gordon Randall Garrett
British Dictionary definitions for converter


a person or thing that converts
  1. a device for converting alternating current to direct current or vice versa
  2. a device for converting a signal from one frequency to another or from analogue to digital forms
a vessel in which molten metal is refined, using a blast of air or oxygen See also Bessemer converter, L-D converter
short for converter reactor
(computing) a device for converting one form of coded information to another, such as an analogue-to-digital converter
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 converter

1530s, agent noun from convert (v.). Of machinery, from 1867.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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converter in Science
  1. An electrical device that changes the form of an electric signal or power source, as by converting alternating current to direct current, or an analog signal to a digital signal. Compare rectifier, transformer.

  2. An electronic device that changes the frequency of a radio or other electromagnetic signal.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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