[moj-uh-ley-shuhn, mod-yuh-]
the act of modulating.
the state of being modulated.
Music. transition from one key to another.
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?
the feature of a construction resulting from such use.

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin modulātiōn- (stem of modulātiō) rhythmical measure. See modulate, -ion Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
modulation (ˌmɒdjʊˈleɪʃən)
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

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

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)

  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
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Example sentences
All that seems to be required is a modulation of airflow through her larynx.
The poses allow modulation in revelation of the poet and his world.
Whether through modulation, as to the secondary key area, or other means.
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