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[moh-duh m, -dem] /ˈmoʊ dəm, -dɛm/ Computers.
an electronic device that makes possible the transmission of data to or from a computer via telephone or other communication lines.
verb (used with object)
to send or receive (information, data, or the like) via a modem.
Origin of modem
mo(dulator)-dem(odulator) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for modem
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I published a few book on the Internet and they can be freely downloaded by anyone who has a computer or a modem.

    After the Rain Sam Vaknin
  • My son has agreed to give his daughter to the Prince of modem, at which I very sincerely rejoice.

    The Memoirs of the Louis XIV. and The Regency, Complete Elizabeth-Charlotte, Duchesse d'Orleans
  • The modem reader may form his own estimate of the poet's art, and that estimate will probably not be high.

    Four Arthurian Romances Chretien DeTroyes
British Dictionary definitions for modem


(computing) a device for connecting two computers by a telephone line, consisting of a modulator that converts computer signals into audio signals and a corresponding demodulator
Word Origin
C20: from mo(dulator) dem(odulator)
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 modem

"device to convert digital signals to analog and vice versa," 1958, coined from first elements of modulator + demodulator.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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modem in Science
A device for transmitting and receiving digital data over telephone wires. Modems send data by converting it into audio signals and receive it by converting audio signals back into digital form. The speed at which modems transmit data is measured in bps (bits per second).
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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modem in Culture
modem [(moh-duhm, moh-dem)]

A device that links a personal computer to a telephone line, so that the computer can receive information from other computers.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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