[trans-mit-er, tranz-]
  1. a person or thing that transmits.
  2. Also called transmitting set. Radio. a device for sending electromagnetic waves; the part of a broadcasting apparatus that generates and modulates the radiofrequency current and conveys it to the antenna.
  3. the part of a telephonic or telegraphic apparatus that converts sound waves or mechanical movements into corresponding electric waves or impulses.
  4. Biochemistry. neurotransmitter.

Origin of transmitter

First recorded in 1720–30; transmit + -er1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for transmitter


  1. a person or thing that transmits
  2. the equipment used for generating and amplifying a radio-frequency carrier, modulating the carrier with information, and feeding it to an aerial for transmission
  3. the microphone in a telephone that converts sound waves into audio-frequency electrical signals
  4. a device that converts mechanical movements into coded electrical signals transmitted along a telegraph circuit
  5. physiol short for neurotransmitter
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 transmitter

"apparatus for receiving radio signals," 1934, agent noun from transmit.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

transmitter in Science


  1. A device that converts sound, light, or electrical signals into radio, microwave, or other electrical signals of sufficient strength for the purpose of telecommunication. Compare receiver.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.