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microphone

A microphone is an electric device that amplifies the sound of a voice or instrument. If you're going to stand up in front of a large crowd and want to be heard, you better use a microphone.

Microphones require electricity and amplifiers to work — what they do is take a sound and convert it into an electrical signal. That signal can then be amplified and sent to a speaker or recorded. Performers can sing softly into a microphone and still be heard clearly by an audience member at the very back of a huge concert hall. The popularity of radio and film inspired this meaning of microphone — originally, the word meant "ear trumpet for the hard-of-hearing."

Definitions of microphone
  1. noun
    device for converting sound waves into electrical energy
    synonyms: mike
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    types:
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    bug
    a small hidden microphone; for listening secretly
    capacitor microphone, condenser microphone
    microphone consisting of a capacitor with one plate fixed and the other forming the diaphragm moved by sound waves
    crystal microphone
    a microphone in which sound waves vibrate a piezoelectric crystal that generates a varying voltage
    directional microphone
    a microphone that is designed to receive sound from a particular direction
    spike mike
    a contact microphone for listening through walls
    cardioid microphone
    a directional microphone with a cardioid pattern of sensitivity
    type of:
    electro-acoustic transducer
    a transducer that converts electrical to acoustic energy or vice versa
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