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[moj-uh-leyt] /ˈmɒdʒ əˌleɪt/
verb (used with object), modulated, modulating.
to regulate by or adjust to a certain measure or proportion; soften; tone down.
to alter or adapt (the voice) according to the circumstances, one's listener, etc.
  1. to attune to a certain pitch or key.
  2. to vary the volume of (tone).
Telecommunications. to cause the amplitude, frequency, phase, or intensity of (a carrier wave) to vary in accordance with a sound wave or other signal, the frequency of the signal wave usually being very much lower than that of the carrier.
verb (used without object), modulated, modulating.
  1. to modulate a carrier wave.
  2. Citizens Band Radio Slang. to talk; visit:
    Enjoyed modulating with you.
Music. to pass from one key to another:
to modulate abruptly from A to B flat.
Origin of modulate
1550-60; < Latin modulātus (past participle of modulārī to regulate (sounds), set to music, play an instrument). See module, -ate1
Related forms
[moj-uh-luh-bil-i-tee] /ˌmɒdʒ ə ləˈbɪl ɪ ti/ (Show IPA),
modulative, modulatory
[moj-uh-luh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /ˈmɒdʒ ə ləˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/ (Show IPA),
remodulate, verb (used with object), remodulated, remodulating.
unmodulated, adjective
unmodulative, adjective
well-modulated, adjective
2. temper, control. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for well-modulated
Historical Examples
  • "I want to see the manager," said the woman in a well-modulated voice.

    Mary Louise and Josie O'Gorman

    Emma Speed Sampson
  • “Pardon me for interrupting you, Mr. Macdonald,” he said in well-modulated tones.

    The Cryptogram William Murray Graydon
  • He found the place and began to read in a resonant, well-modulated voice.

    The Rest Hollow Mystery Rebecca N. Porter
  • He speaks in well-modulated tones, the accents nasal and decided.

    Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist Alexander Berkman
  • The suave and well-modulated voice of Mr. Hotchkiss rang in his ears.

    Gabriel Tolliver Joel Chandler Harris
  • It was smooth and well-modulated, and there was the faintest touch of music in it.

    The Lost Valley J. M. Walsh
  • It is the exception to hear a voice that is musical and well-modulated.

    Talks on Talking

    Grenville Kleiser
  • With mounting fear his captives listened to his well-modulated voice as it proceeded logically from point to point.

    The Affair of the Brains Anthony Gilmore
  • Not such a voice as she expected to hear, but a sweet, well-modulated voice, that of a person of education.

  • Only her voice was so well-modulated that a few words sufficed to indicate the personality of the woman.

    Crimes of Charity Konrad Bercovici
British Dictionary definitions for well-modulated


(transitive) to change the tone, pitch, or volume of
(transitive) to adjust or regulate the degree of
  1. to subject to or undergo modulation in music
  2. (often foll by to) to make or become in tune (with a pitch, key, etc)
(transitive) (physics, electronics) to cause to vary by a process of modulation
Derived Forms
modulability (ˌmɒdjʊləˈbɪlɪtɪ) noun
modulative, modulatory, adjective
modulator, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin modulātus in due measure, melodious, from modulārī to regulate, from modus measure
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 well-modulated



1610s, in music, back-formation from modulation, or else from Latin modulatus, past participle of modulari. General sense from 1620s. In telecommunications from 1908. Related: Modulated; modulating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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well-modulated in Science
To vary the amplitude, frequency, or some other characteristic of a signal or power source. See also amplitude modulation, frequency modulation.

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