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[mahy-kruh-fohn] /ˈmaɪ krəˌfoʊn/
an instrument capable of transforming sound waves into changes in electric currents or voltage, used in recording or transmitting sound.
1875-80; micro-, in sense “enlarging” (extracted from microscope) + -phone Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for microphone
  • When the headset is muted, the microphone glows red.
  • The closer to the ear the microphone is located, the simpler the process becomes.
  • Visitors test out a hydrophone, or underwater microphone.
  • At one booth, there is a microphone that eliminates background noise.
  • But he needed to repair a microphone he had fitted to the top of the chimney along with a video camera.
  • The gent with the camel's hair blazer, snappy scarf and thinning silver hair walked gingerly to the microphone.
  • Consider using a smartphone or other handheld device with a microphone to do the recording.
  • The bats' echolocation calls were recorded with a sophisticated microphone array.
  • High-speed infrared cameras and an ultrasonic microphone recorded the action over nine consecutive nights.
  • Don't bump into any microphone stands if you're in a recording studio.
British Dictionary definitions for microphone


a device used in sound-reproduction systems for converting sound into electrical energy, usually by means of a ribbon or diaphragm set into motion by the sound waves. The vibrations are converted into the equivalent audio-frequency electric currents Informal name mike See also carbon microphone Compare loudspeaker
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 microphone
coined from Gk. mikros "small" + phone "sound" (see fame). Modern meaning dates from 1929, from use in radio broadcasting and movie recording. Earlier, "telephone transmitter" (1878) and "ear trumpet for the hard-of-hearing" (1683). Of the two spellings of the short form of the word, mike (1927) is older than mic (1961).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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microphone in Technology

hardware, audio
Any electromechanical device designed to convert sound into an electrical signal.
A microphone converts an acoustic waveform consisting of alternating high and low air pressure travelling through the air into a voltage. To do this it uses some kind of pressure or movement sensor. The simplest kind of microphone is actually very similar in construction to a loudspeaker.
The analogue electrical signal can be fed into a computer's sound card where it is amplified and sampled to convert it into a digital waveform for storage or transmission.

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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