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[vuh-rak-ter] /vəˈræk tər/
a semiconductor diode whose capacitance changes to match applied voltage, used to tune circuits by varying the reactance.
Origin of varactor
1955-60; var(iable re)actor Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for varactor
  • The varactor control should be sufficient to maintain phase-lock of the reference.
  • By varying the voltage to the varactor in an oscillator circuit.
  • The voltage drop across the divider is then sensed by a varactor bridge operational amplifier.
  • To hold any discriminator signals until verified by the varactor diode circuits.
British Dictionary definitions for varactor


a semiconductor diode that acts as a voltage-dependent capacitor, being operated with a reverse bias Compare varistor
Word Origin
C20: probably a blend of variable reactor
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
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