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

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World English Dictionary
microphone (ˈmaɪkrəˌfəʊn)
See also carbon microphone Compare loudspeaker Informal name: mike 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

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

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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Computing Dictionary

microphone definition

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 http://foldoc.org
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Example sentences
When the headset is muted, the microphone glows red.
The closer to the ear the microphone is located, the simpler the process
Visitors test out a hydrophone, or underwater microphone.
At one booth, there is a microphone that eliminates background noise.
Images for microphone
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