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modem

[moh-duh m, -dem] /ˈmoʊ dəm, -dɛm/
noun
1.
an electronic device that makes possible the transmission of data to or from a computer via telephone or other communication lines.
verb (used with object)
2.
to send or receive (information, data, or the like) via a modem.
Origin
mo(dulator)-dem(odulator)
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for modem
  • To get slightly more technical, a fax machine actually consists of three major components: a scanner, a fax modem and a printer.
  • The university is also in the process of closing several computer labs on the campus and getting rid of its dial-up modem service.
  • As trial cable modem services roll out around the country, the development of open industry standards looks unlikely.
  • That's the idea behind a digital camera that started shipping this week that includes a built-in modem.
  • It is, of course, perfectly possible to connect a computer to a cell-phone network via a radio modem.
  • Marc will communicate with her over the modem of his computer, by electronic mail.
  • All that is needed is new kit inside the local telephone exchange and a new modem for the customer.
  • It seemed as though the hotel had the equivalent of a single cable modem to provide service for several hundred rooms.
  • He is also, in terms of cyberspace, grounded: forbidden to use a modem or other remote-access device for two years.
  • Anyone with a computer and modem is, in fact, a broadcaster of sorts.
British Dictionary definitions for modem

modem

/ˈməʊdɛm/
noun
1.
(computing) a device for connecting two computers by a telephone line, consisting of a modulator that converts computer signals into audio signals and a corresponding demodulator
Word Origin
C20: from mo(dulator) dem(odulator)
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 modem
n.

"device to convert digital signals to analog and vice versa," 1958, coined from first elements of modulator + demodulator.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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modem in Science
modem
  (mō'dəm)   
A device for transmitting and receiving digital data over telephone wires. Modems send data by converting it into audio signals and receive it by converting audio signals back into digital form. The speed at which modems transmit data is measured in bps (bits per second).
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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modem in Culture
modem [(moh-duhm, moh-dem)]

A device that links a personal computer to a telephone line, so that the computer can receive information from other computers.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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modem in Technology
hardware, communications
(Modulator/demodulator) An electronic device for converting between serial data (typically EIA-232) from a computer and an audio signal suitable for transmission over a telephone line connected to another modem. In one scheme the audio signal is composed of silence (no data) or one of two frequencies representing zero and one.
Modems are distinguished primarily by the maximum data rate they support. Data rates can range from 75 bits per second up to 56000 and beyond. Data from the user (i.e. flowing from the local terminal or computer via the modem to the telephone line) is sometimes at a lower rate than the other direction, on the assumption that the user cannot type more than a few characters per second.
Various data compression and error correction algorithms are required to support the highest speeds. Other optional features are auto-dial (auto-call) and auto-answer which allow the computer to initiate and accept calls without human intervention. Most modern modems support a number of different protocols, and two modems, when first connected, will automatically negotiate to find a common protocol (this process may be audible through the modem or computer's loudspeakers). Some modem protocols allow the two modems to renegotiate ("retrain") if the initial choice of data rate is too high and gives too many transmission errors.
A modem may either be internal (connected to the computer's bus) or external ("stand-alone", connected to one of the computer's serial ports). The actual speed of transmission in characters per second depends not just the modem-to-modem data rate, but also on the speed with which the processor can transfer data to and from the modem, the kind of compression used and whether the data is compressed by the processor or the modem, the amount of noise on the telephone line (which causes retransmissions), the serial character format (typically 8N1: one start bit, eight data bits, no parity, one stop bit).
See also acoustic coupler, adaptive answering, baud barf, Bulletin Board System, Caller ID, SoftModem, U.S. Robotics, UUCP, whalesong.
Usenet newsgroup: news:comp.dcom.modems.
(2002-05-04)
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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Related Abbreviations for modem

modem

modulator demodulator
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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