- 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.
- to attune to a certain pitch or key.
- 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.
- to modulate a carrier wave.
- 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
SynonymsSee more synonyms for modulate on Thesaurus.com
2. temper, control.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for modulatory
The essential character of this, as of the prelude in C minor (396 K.), is modulatory.Life Of Mozart, Vol. 2 (of 3)
The fabric is made up of effective changes, modulatory and rhythmic, in the material from the first part.
It abounds in modulatory changes and expresses, throughout, the note of mystical exaltation so prominent in Franck's nature.
- (tr) to change the tone, pitch, or volume of
- (tr) to adjust or regulate the degree of
- to subject to or undergo modulation in music
- (often foll by to)to make or become in tune (with a pitch, key, etc)
- (tr) physics electronics to cause to vary by a process of modulation
C16: from Latin modulātus in due measure, melodious, from modulārī to regulate, from modus measure
Word Origin and History for modulatory
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
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.