General English


  • noun a device that converts sound waves into electrical signals


  • A transducer which converts sound energy into electrical signals. Most microphones incorporate a diaphragm which vibrates proportionally to the variations in sound pressure surrounding it. These fluctuations are then converted into a corresponding electrical signal such as a current or voltage. There are various types, including dynamic, capacitor, and ribbon microphones. In addition, the pickup pattern of such a transducer can be tailored to specific needs, as seen in cardioid, bi-directional, and omnidirectional microphones. Microphones are used in many devices, such as telephones, hearing aids, computers, and as a signal source for broadcasting, among others. It performs the reverse function of a speaker, and some microphones can also be used as speakers, as is the case with many intercom systems. Its abbreviation is mike, or mic.
  • abbreviationmike

Information & Library Science

  • noun an electronic device used to record sounds or to make them louder

Media Studies

  • noun a device that converts sounds to electrical signals which can then be amplified, transmitted for broadcasting or recorded


  • noun an instrument (forming part of an intercom, radio or telephone mouthpiece) which converts sound into electromagnetic waves