semiconductor

[sem-ee-kuh n-duhk-ter, sem-ahy-]
noun
  1. 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.
  2. a semiconductor device.

Origin of semiconductor

First recorded in 1875–80; semi- + conductor
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for semiconductor

Contemporary Examples of semiconductor

Historical Examples of semiconductor

  • It may not be the only impurity causing the peculiar behavior of this semiconductor, but it does seem a likely candidate.


British Dictionary definitions for semiconductor

semiconductor

noun
  1. 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)
    1. a device, such as a transistor or integrated circuit, that depends on the properties of such a substance
    2. (as modifier)a semiconductor diode
Derived Formssemiconduction, noun
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

Word Origin and History for semiconductor
n.

1838, "material whose electrical conductivity is between that of a conductor and that of an insulator," from semi- + conductor. Modern very specific sense is recorded from 1931.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

semiconductor in Science

semiconductor

[sĕm′ē-kən-dŭktər]
  1. 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.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

semiconductor in Culture

semiconductor

A material that conducts (see conduction) electricity, but very poorly. Silicon is the most common and familiar semiconductor. Devices made from semiconductors, such as the transistor, are the basis of the modern microelectric industry.

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.