verb (used with object), mod·u·lat·ed, mod·u·lat·ing.
- to regulate by or adjust to a certain measure or proportion; soften; tone down.
- to alter or adapt (the voice) according to the circumstances, one’s listener, etc.
- to attune to a certain pitch or key.
- to vary the volume of (tone).
- Telecommunications. to cause the amplitude, frequency, phase, or intensity of (a carrier wave) to vary in accordance with a sound wave or other signal, the frequency of the signal wave usually being very much lower than that of the carrier.
verb (used without object), mod·u·lat·ed, mod·u·lat·ing.
- to modulate a carrier wave.
- Citizens Band Radio Slang.to talk; visit: Enjoyed modulating with you.
- Music. to pass from one key to another: to modulate abruptly from A to B flat.
- (tr) to change the tone, pitch, or volume of
- (tr) to adjust or regulate the degree of
- to subject to or undergo modulation in music
- (often foll by to)to make or become in tune (with a pitch, key, etc)
- (tr) physics electronics to cause to vary by a process of modulation
v.1610s, in music, back-formation from modulation, or else from Latin modulatus, past participle of modulari. General sense from 1620s. In telecommunications from 1908. Related: Modulated; modulating.
- To vary the amplitude, frequency, or some other characteristic of a signal or power source. See also amplitude modulation frequency modulation.