|1.||junction transistor See also field-effect transistor a semiconductor device, having three or more terminals attached to electrode regions, in which current flowing between two electrodes is controlled by a voltage or current applied to one or more specified electrodes. The device is capable of amplification, etc, and has replaced the valve in most circuits since it is much smaller, more robust, and works at a much lower voltage|
|2.||informal a transistor radio|
|[C20: originally a trademark, from |
|a fool or simpleton; ninny.|
|a scrap or morsel of food left at a meal.|
|transistor (trān-zĭs'tər) Pronunciation Key
An electronic device that controls the flow of an electric current, most often used as an amplifier or switch. Transistors usually consist of three layers of semiconductor material, in which the flow of electric current across the outer layer is regulated by the voltage or current applied at the middle layer. Having replaced the vacuum tube, transistors are the basis of much modern electronic technology, including the microprocessor. See also logic circuit, logic gate.
Note: The transistor is the basic device used in miniaturized electronic systems, such as portable radios, or as a fast switch in computers.