noun Electronics.
a device, as a two-element electron tube or a semiconductor, through which current can pass freely in only one direction.

1919; di-1 + -ode2

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World English Dictionary
diode (ˈdaɪəʊd)
1.  More formal name: semiconductor diode a semiconductor device containing one p-n junction, used in circuits for converting alternating current to direct current
2.  the earliest and simplest type of electronic valve having two electrodes, an anode and a cathode, between which a current can flow only in one direction. It was formerly widely used as a rectifier and detector but has now been replaced in most electrical circuits by the more efficient and reliable semiconductor diode
[C20: from di-1 + -ode²]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1886, from Gk. di- "twice" + hodos "way" (see cede).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
diode   (dī'ōd')  Pronunciation Key 

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An electrical device with two active terminals, an anode and a cathode, through which current passes more easily in one direction (from anode to cathode) than in the reverse direction. Diodes have many uses, including conversion of AC power to DC power, and the decoding of audio-frequency signals from radio signals.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Computing Dictionary

diode definition

hardware, electronics
A semiconductor device which conducts electric current run in one direction only. This is the simplest kind of semiconductor device, it has two terminals and a single PN junction. One diode can be used as a half-wave rectifier or four as a full-wave rectifier.

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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Example sentences
It wasn't long before he could tune the cheap diode lasers nearly as accurately
  as standard lasers.
In a lidar gun, electronics ramp up battery power to high voltage that drives a
  laser diode.
The diode emits infrared laser pulses every five milliseconds.
Diodes block current in one direction, and running them in series divides the
  voltage each diode sees.
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