Definition of radio in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈrādēō/

noun (plural radios)

1The transmission and reception of electromagnetic waves of radio frequency, especially those carrying sound messages: cellular phones are linked by radio rather than wires
More example sentences
  • It is highly improbable that both a telephonic transmission and radio transmission from the bank's alarm to the control room was blocked.
  • Through high frequency radio communication, the information is passed from the main terminal to the one at the PRS centre.
  • The only use I know of for very high power broadband radio transmissions is to transmit over extreme distances.
1.1The activity or industry of broadcasting sound programs to the public: she has written much material for radio [as modifier]: a radio station
More example sentences
  • It was the first convention to reach the general public live by radio broadcast.
  • The first instance pertains to the cancellation of the live horseracing broadcasts on public radio stations.
  • In this business to broadcast 4,000 programmes on the same radio station is a remarkable achievement.
1.2Radio programs: we used to listen to a lot of radio
More example sentences
  • A little like rhumba, Kokoliko has for some reason come to enjoy a lot of airplay on radio.
  • These African actors say until their awareness campaign pays off, they'll pay the rent by working soap operas on radio.
  • Its findings become subjects for conservative radio and cable talk shows.
1.3An apparatus for receiving radio programs: she turned on the radio
More example sentences
  • On the train, I switched the radio on to a phone-in programme where listeners expressed their worries about the escalating situation.
  • Then each group's radios can be programmed to receive only specific talk groups.
  • I enjoy the orchestra's programmes, both by way of live performance and by listening to them on the Concert Programme on the radio.
1.4An apparatus capable of both receiving and transmitting radio messages between individuals, ships, planes, etc. a ship-to-shore radio
More example sentences
  • The new radios transmit a code that can immediately be traced to the user.
  • The ship's radios would be on, but the running lights and the tower beacon would be secured.
  • It is well known that typical military broadband radios transmit only a few watts or less.
transceiver, CB, walkie-talkie, ship-to-shore radio, radio phone;
receiver, tuner
1.5 [in names] A broadcasting station or channel: Monitor Radio
More example sentences
  • Clear Channel radio owns almost any station you could be listening to in any market.
  • The choir has regularly broadcast on RTE radio and television.
  • The finals are broadcast on BBC radio and television.

verb (radioes, radioing, radioed)

[no object]
1Communicate or send a message by radio: the pilot radioed for help
More example sentences
  • The passenger alerted flight staff and the pilot radioed through to the control centre who sent the emergency services around to save the couple.
  • Despite the fact that he was critically low on ammunition, he provided some of it to the dazed pilot and then radioed for help.
  • The pilot flew by, radioed in, and confirmed that the fire was behind the cliffs.
1.1 [with object] Communicate with (a person or place) by radio: we’ll radio Athens right away
More example sentences
  • On a hunch, the researchers radioed the ground-based team and urged them to continue gathering data when the star re-emerged from behind Uranus.
  • He left quickly to rescan the area just in case, and then radioed some place that Lichen didn't know.
  • He radioed neighbours at 6.30 am to say he was under attack, and later reported he had been injured.


Early 20th century: from radio- in radiotelegraphy, based on Latin radius 'ray, beam'.

  • ray from Middle English:

    The ray that means ‘beam of light’ is a medieval word going back to Latin radius ‘spoke, ray’, the source of radiate (late 16th century) , radio (early 20th century), and radius (late 16th century). The term ray of sunshine for someone who brings happiness into the lives of others, dating back to the early 20th century, is often used ironically for someone who in fact spreads little cheer. Ray as a name for a fish is a different word, from Latin raia.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ra·di·o

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