modulation

[moj-uh-ley-shuhn, mod-yuh-]
noun
1.
the act of modulating.
2.
the state of being modulated.
3.
Music. transition from one key to another.
4.
Grammar.
a.
the use of a particular distribution of stress or pitch in a construction, as the use of rising pitch on here in John is here?
b.
the feature of a construction resulting from such use.

Origin:
1350–1400; Middle English < Latin modulātiōn- (stem of modulātiō) rhythmical measure. See modulate, -ion

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World English Dictionary
modulation (ˌmɒdjʊˈleɪʃən)
 
n
1.  the act of modulating or the condition of being modulated
2.  music the transition from one key to another
3.  grammar
 a.  another word for intonation
 b.  the grammatical expression of modality
4.  electrical engineering
 a.  amplitude modulation frequency modulation phase modulation See also velocity modulation the act or process of superimposing the amplitude, frequency, phase, etc, of a wave or signal onto another wave (the carrier wave) or signal or onto an electron beam
 b.  the variation of the modulated signal

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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

modulation
late 14c., "act of singing or making music," from O.Fr. modulation "act of making music," from L. modulationem (nom. modulatio) "rhythmical measure, singing and playing, melody," from modulatus, pp. of modulari "regulate, measure off properly," from modulus (see module).
Meaning "act of regulating according to measure or proportion" is from 1530s. Musical sense of "action of process of changing key" is first recorded 1690s.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

modulation mod·u·la·tion (mŏj'ə-lā'shən)
n.

  1. The functional and morphological fluctuation of cells in response to changing environmental conditions.

  2. The variation of a property in an electromagnetic wave or signal, such as amplitude, frequency, or phase.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
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