verb (used with object), mod·u·lat·ed, mod·u·lat·ing.
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.
verb (used without object), mod·u·lat·ed, mod·u·lat·ing.
- 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
Synonyms for modulate
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
(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
Word Origin for modulate
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
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
To vary the amplitude, frequency, or some other characteristic of a signal or power source. See also amplitude modulation frequency modulation.
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