Definition of modulate in English:


Syllabification: mod·u·late
Pronunciation: /ˈmäjəˌlāt


[with object]
  • 1Exert a modifying or controlling influence on: the state attempts to modulate private business’s cash flow
    More example sentences
    • Much of this effort will be directed, in one form or other, at modulating the regulatory systems controlling physiological systems.
    • Generally more economical shower controls modulate only temperature.
    • This influence works both by modulating endocrine function such as insulin secretion and by increasing the rate of glycogenolysis and fatty acid mobilization.
    regulate, adjust, set, modify, moderate
  • 1.1Vary the strength, tone, or pitch of (one’s voice): we all modulate our voice by hearing it
    More example sentences
    • The way one modulates the voice, its pitch, tone and tenor to speak to different persons is nothing but mimicry.
    • The man could modulate his voice into a great variety of tones, booming, hushed, lyrical, penitent, frightened.
    • And, like any good schoolteacher, she modulates her voice to great effect; during moments of particular drama, she is known for speaking to juries in a barely audible whisper.
    adjust, change the tone of, temper, soften
  • 1.2Alter the amplitude or frequency of (an electromagnetic wave or other oscillation) in accordance with the variations of a second signal, typically one of a lower frequency: radio waves are modulated to carry the analog information of the voice
    More example sentences
    • Method and apparatus for transmitting broadband amplitude modulated radio frequency signals over optical links
    • A method and apparatus for equalizing a received quadrature amplitude modulated signal is disclosed.
    • Multiple radio channel frequency signals that are modulated with respective information modulation are transmitted from a common antenna at multiple radio frequencies.
  • 1.3 [no object] Music Change from one key to another: the first half of the melody, modulating from E minor to G
    More example sentences
    • However, there were exceptions; Domenico Scarlatti, for example, sometimes chose to modulate to the mediant at the end of the first section.
    • Each of the first movements is, in its way, a grand synthesis of ritornello and sonata form: only one, K.449, modulates out of the home key in the opening tutti.
    • In any case, this limits a composer's ability to modulate on the piano, where players can't adjust intonation, except crudely and awkwardly, while they perform.
  • 1.4 [no object] (modulate into) Change from one form or condition into (another): ideals and opinions are not modulated into authoritative journalese
    More example sentences
    • It is likely that the military activity will have to modulate into the form of intensive, highly militarised policing which characterised the last 30 years in Northern Ireland.
    • This morning I'd allowed my gazing into space to modulate into a full-scale reverie, and I'd lost track completely.
    • After this opening, the images of aggression modulate into images that expose the force of her wisdom and erotic energy.



Pronunciation: /ˌmäjəˈlāSHən/
More example sentences
  • However, the generality of this modulation is tempered by two findings.
  • Basic knowledge in diction and modulations are the bare essentials.
  • In 360, modulations of light, colour and sound converge in a 360-degree virtual theatre that envelops the audience within a circle of 16 screens.


Pronunciation: /-ˌlātər/
More example sentences
  • The electroholographic system consists of a special-purpose computational chip and a high-resolution, reflective mode, liquid-crystal display panel as a spatial light modulator.
  • I often assign pitch bend as a modulator of pan position allowing me to slide sounds around in the stereo field.
  • Health shops are swamped with immune-boosters, but the remedy I want to recommend is a modulator.


mid 16th century (in the sense 'intone [a song]'): from Latin modulat- 'measured, made melody', from the verb modulari, from modulus 'measure' (see modulus).

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