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[kuh n-vur-ter] /kənˈvɜr tər/
a person or thing that converts.
Electricity. a device that converts alternating current to direct current or vice versa.
Metallurgy. a chamber or vessel through which an oxidizing blast of air is forced, as in making steel by the Bessemer process.
Television. decoder (def 5).
Radio and Television. an auxiliary device that permits a receiver to pick up frequencies or channels for which it was not originally designed.
Physics. a reactor for converting one kind of fuel into another kind.
a person who is engaged in converting textile fabrics, especially cotton cloths, from the raw state into the finished product ready for the market by bleaching, dyeing, etc.
Also called converter lens. Photography. an additional lens attached to a lens in use on a camera to alter focal length, mounted in front of a lens to produce a wide-angle effect (wide-angle converter) or between the lens and the camera body to produce a telephoto effect (teleconverter or extender)
Origin of converter
1525-35; convert1 + -er1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for converter
  • And its catalytic converter largely eliminates smog-forming nitrogen oxides.
  • All channels will soon be scrambled, mandating the use of a converter box.
  • The modern fuel injection system works with a three-way catalytic converter to cut pollution.
  • In addition, researchers are refining a converter technology that will adapt to grid conditions in any country.
  • Failure of any of these components results in incomplete combustion and poor performance of the catalytic converter.
  • The catalytic converter on your exhaust system contains cerium and lanthanum.
  • These amounts go up when you add batteries and a charge converter for a stand-alone system.
  • Unplug the cable converter box unless you have it set to record shows while you are away.
  • The addition of low sulphur fuel and upcoming catalytic converter technology make diesel the way to go.
  • When the hydrocarbons have all been converted, pull into a filling station and swap for a full converter.
British Dictionary definitions for converter


a person or thing that converts
  1. a device for converting alternating current to direct current or vice versa
  2. a device for converting a signal from one frequency to another or from analogue to digital forms
a vessel in which molten metal is refined, using a blast of air or oxygen See also Bessemer converter, L-D converter
short for converter reactor
(computing) a device for converting one form of coded information to another, such as an analogue-to-digital converter
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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Word Origin and History for converter

1530s, agent noun from convert (v.). Of machinery, from 1867.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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converter in Science
  1. An electrical device that changes the form of an electric signal or power source, as by converting alternating current to direct current, or an analog signal to a digital signal. Compare rectifier, transformer.

  2. An electronic device that changes the frequency of a radio or other electromagnetic signal.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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