[sem-ee-kuh n-duhk-ter, sem-ahy-]
- a substance, as silicon or germanium, with electrical conductivity intermediate between that of an insulator and a conductor: a basic component of various kinds of electronic circuit element (semiconductor device) used in communications, control, and detection technology and in computers.
- a semiconductor device.
Origin of semiconductor
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for semiconductor
Likewise, the semiconductor industry as we know it today originated in the highly taxed 1970s, not the 1980s.David's Book Club: Unintended Consequences
July 3, 2012
Take Intel, which has been the leading maker of semiconductor chips for decades.What Market Panic? Halcyon Days for Silicon Valley
March 7, 2012
It may not be the only impurity causing the peculiar behavior of this semiconductor, but it does seem a likely candidate.The Atomic Fingerprint
- a substance, such as germanium or silicon, that has an electrical conductivity that increases with temperature and is intermediate between that of a metal and an insulator, The behaviour may be exhibited by the pure substance (intrinsic semiconductor) or as a result of impurities (extrinsic semiconductor)
- a device, such as a transistor or integrated circuit, that depends on the properties of such a substance
- (as modifier)a semiconductor diode
Word Origin and History for semiconductor
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- Any of various solid substances, such as silicon or germanium, that conduct electricity more easily than insulators but less easily than conductors. In semiconductors, thermal energy is enough to cause a small number of electrons to escape from the valence bonds between the atoms (the valence band); they orbit instead in the higher-energy conduction band, in which they are relatively free. The resulting gaps in the valence band are called holes. Semiconductors are vital to the design of electronic components and circuitry, including transistors, laser diodes, and memory and computer processing circuits.
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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.