Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To adjust or adapt to a certain proportion; regulate or temper.
  • transitive v. To change or vary the pitch, intensity, or tone of (one's voice or a musical instrument, for example).
  • transitive v. Electronics To vary the frequency, amplitude, phase, or other characteristic of (electromagnetic waves).
  • transitive v. Electronics To vary (electron velocity) in an electron beam.
  • intransitive v. Music To move from one key or tonality to another by means of a melody or chord progression.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To regulate, adjust or adapt
  • v. To change the pitch, intensity or tone of one's voice or of a musical instrument
  • v. (electronics) to vary the amplitude, frequency or phase of a carrier wave in proportion to the amplitude etc of a source wave (such as speech or music)
  • v. to move from one key or tonality to another, especially by using a chord progression

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To pass from one key into another.
  • transitive v. To form, as sound, to a certain key, or to a certain portion.
  • transitive v. To vary or inflect in a natural, customary, or musical manner.
  • transitive v. To alter the amplitude, frequency, phase, or intensity of (the carrier wave of a radio signal) at intervals, so as to represent information to be conveyed by the signal; -- a technique used to convey information by means of radio waves transmitted by one electronic device and received by another.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To modify; adjust; adapt; regulate.
  • To vary or inflect the sound or utterance of, especially so as to give expressiveness to what is uttered; vary or adapt in tone.
  • To vary the pitch of; inflect; melodize.
  • In music, to change from one key (tonality) to another, by utilizing one or more of the tones common to both.
  • In music, to pass from one key (tonality) into another, or from the major into the minor mode, or vice versa. See modulation, 3 .
  • Hence To vary, oscillate, or fluctuate.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. vary the frequency, amplitude, phase, or other characteristic of (electromagnetic waves)
  • v. fix or adjust the time, amount, degree, or rate of
  • v. vary the pitch of one's speech
  • v. change the key of, in music
  • v. adjust the pitch, tone, or volume of

Etymologies

Latin modulārī, modulāt-, to measure off, to regulate, from modulus, diminutive of modus, measure; see med- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin modulatus, past participle of modulari ("to measure, regulate, modulate"), from modulus ("measure"); see modulus. Compare module. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • see you on the range when its time for a change

    May 12, 2008