verb (used with object), mod·u·lat·ed, mod·u·lat·ing.

  1. to regulate by or adjust to a certain measure or proportion; soften; tone down.
  2. to alter or adapt (the voice) according to the circumstances, one’s listener, etc.
  3. Music.
    1. to attune to a certain pitch or key.
    2. to vary the volume of (tone).
  4. 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.

  1. Telecommunications.
    1. to modulate a carrier wave.
    2. Citizens Band Radio Slang.to talk; visit: Enjoyed modulating with you.
  2. Music. to pass from one key to another: to modulate abruptly from A to B flat.


  1. (tr) to change the tone, pitch, or volume of
  2. (tr) to adjust or regulate the degree of
  3. music
    1. to subject to or undergo modulation in music
    2. (often foll by to)to make or become in tune (with a pitch, key, etc)
  4. (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.

  1. To vary the amplitude, frequency, or some other characteristic of a signal or power source. See also amplitude modulation frequency modulation.
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