modem

[moh-duhm, -dem] Computers.
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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Collins
World English Dictionary
modem (ˈməʊdɛm)
 
n
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
 
[C20: from mo(dulator) dem(odulator)]

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

modem
1958, coined from mo(dulator) + dem(odulator).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
modem   (mō'dəm)  Pronunciation Key 
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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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
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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FOLDOC
Computing Dictionary

modem definition

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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American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
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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Example sentences
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.
Images for modem
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