Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[mahy-kruh-fohn] /ˈmaɪ krəˌfoʊn/
an instrument capable of transforming sound waves into changes in electric currents or voltage, used in recording or transmitting sound.
Origin of microphone
1875-80; micro-, in sense “enlarging” (extracted from microscope) + -phone Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for microphone
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The applications of the microphone were soon of great importance.

  • He hauled the microphone from its cubby in the dashboard and spoke the code words.

    Raiders Invisible Desmond Winter Hall
  • He thumbed down the communicator-button and spoke into a microphone.

    Pariah Planet Murray Leinster
  • When contact had been established, Somers took the microphone and stated their situation.

    Death Wish Robert Sheckley
  • He picked up a microphone, touched a stud, and turned a knob.

    The Players Everett B. Cole
British Dictionary definitions for microphone


a device used in sound-reproduction systems for converting sound into electrical energy, usually by means of a ribbon or diaphragm set into motion by the sound waves. The vibrations are converted into the equivalent audio-frequency electric currents Informal name mike See also carbon microphone Compare loudspeaker
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for microphone

1680s, "ear trumpet for the hard-of-hearing," coined from Greek mikros "small" (see mica) + phone "sound" (see fame (n.)). Modern meaning dates from 1929, from use in radio broadcasting and movie recording. Earlier, "amplifying telephone transmitter" (1878). Of the two spellings of the short form of the word, mike (1927) is older than mic (1961).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for microphone

Word Value for microphone

Scrabble Words With Friends