Definition of radio in English:



  • 1[mass noun] The transmission and reception of electromagnetic waves of radio frequency, especially those carrying sound messages.

    ‘cellular phones are linked by radio rather than wires’
    • ‘The only use I know of for very high power broadband radio transmissions is to transmit over extreme distances.’
    • ‘In other words, an efficiently coded radio message coming from outer space would look no different from a normal star in the sky.’
    • ‘Through high frequency radio communication, the information is passed from the main terminal to the one at the PRS centre.’
    • ‘At about the same time, we were seeing an increase in radio transceivers and other radio sources.’
    • ‘Echelon's network can intercept any international telephone call, email, fax or radio transmission.’
    • ‘We had access to new information paths - the telegraph, telephone, radio, and television.’
    • ‘The government responds by sending in the Delta Force, but loses contact as an eerie signal interrupts radio communications.’
    • ‘He liked to play with electricity when he was a youngster, and that grew into an interest in electronics and radio.’
    • ‘The information that they gather is then relayed back via radio or telephone communication equipment.’
    • ‘It involves sending anonymous text messages to other phones via Bluetooth short-range radio.’
    • ‘You should always ensure car doors are locked and windows closed, and if possible maintain radio or telephone communications to report your movements.’
    • ‘It is highly improbable that both a telephonic transmission and radio transmission from the bank's alarm to the control room was blocked.’
    • ‘The transmitter mixes the signal with some strong radio signals called carrier waves.’
    • ‘Scientists rely only on satellite telephone and radio connections.’
    • ‘He operated radio links or sent messages using secret codes.’
    • ‘Waves generated here penetrate the ocean to depths unreachable by radio and other communication waves.’
    • ‘An atom will have many frequencies, some at radio wavelength, some in the visible spectrum, and some in between the two.’
    • ‘The result is that there is only room for a few players to offer a broadband internet service via radio.’
    • ‘Now there are cell phones and radio so whatever happens everybody knows.’
    • ‘My wife came home with a new Motorola cell phone with Bluetooth, which uses radio links to transfer data.’
  • 2[mass noun] The activity or industry of broadcasting sound programmes to the public.

    ‘she has written much material for radio’
    [as modifier] ‘a radio station’
    • ‘He was part of a team that made one last futile attempt to force radio to embrace public interest programming.’
    • ‘I firmly believe that they would love to increase the audience of people of color for public radio programming.’
    • ‘But a public warning over radio wasn't broadcast for nearly ninety minutes.’
    • ‘The BBC initially broadcast one radio service, the National Programme, and some regional services.’
    • ‘Two decades ago I achieved momentary fame for taping a promotion broadcast on our local public radio station.’
    • ‘It was the first convention to reach the general public live by radio broadcast.’
    • ‘Similar programmes would be generated for broadcast by radio.’
    • ‘I can also, of course, receive many of the digital radio programmes now being broadcast as channels on digital terrestrial and satellite platforms.’
    • ‘The Hitch-Hiker radio show was broadcast in 12 episodes by BBC Radio 4.’
    • ‘It's so successful that public radio stations are hard-pressed to survive without it.’
    • ‘The first instance pertains to the cancellation of the live horseracing broadcasts on public radio stations.’
    • ‘Ken Crites, a Minot Daily News reporter who used to work in radio, also complained about the situation.’
    • ‘On both floors are the desks of the staff working on the news programme, website and radio station.’
    • ‘My wife told me she was amazed that I'd managed to find a sector of the broadcast industry that paid less than public radio.’
    • ‘Despite the billing, it sounds to me like any of the local public radio news and talk shows.’
    • ‘Gartner takes his pattern of repetition to a comic level in an editorial urging donations to the local public radio station.’
    • ‘He's also the host of the public radio program Studio 360.’
    • ‘Though you might not be aware of it, only about a quarter of what you are likely to hear on any local public radio station is produced by NPR.’
    • ‘Britain's commercial radio broadcasting industry is soon likely to begin its long-expected consolidation.’
    • ‘In this business to broadcast 4,000 programmes on the same radio station is a remarkable achievement.’
    1. 2.1Radio programmes.
      ‘we used to listen to a lot of radio’
      • ‘He continues to dominate breakfast radio with another record reach of 7.97 million.’
      • ‘A little like rhumba, Kokoliko has for some reason come to enjoy a lot of airplay on radio.’
      • ‘I heard a lot of radio yesterday because I had to drive to and from South Caulfield twice in as many days to get my MA thesis bound.’
      • ‘Its findings become subjects for conservative radio and cable talk shows.’
      • ‘He's followed it up with appearances on talkback radio and he'll be on all the TV news bulletins tonight.’
      • ‘I used to do a lot of radio, and was proud to be nominated for a Sony.’
      • ‘I can remember the heady days of last Friday, putting together the 5pm bulletin for student radio.’
      • ‘I covered a lot of pirate radio in Austin but my editor told me to cut that after a while.’
      • ‘That's why I love college radio, because a lot of times, those are the only stations that will play your stuff!’
      • ‘Over the past few days I have done quite a lot of press, radio and little bits of television as well.’
      • ‘But as I was saying - we listened to an awful lot of odd radio while we were moving and unpacking and looking for the stereo aerial.’
      • ‘I have been listening to a lot of talkback radio, and actually reading newspapers.’
      • ‘I have been doing a lot of radio, which I enjoy because often the discussion can get to the bottom of things.’
      • ‘I used to listen to a lot of short-wave radio when I was in my teens.’
      • ‘These African actors say until their awareness campaign pays off, they'll pay the rent by working soap operas on radio.’
      • ‘I've been listening to a lot of radio in the car, and it's fascinating research to listen to what people are buying.’
      • ‘This was a while ago for me and doing breakfast radio and raising a baby takes a lot of energy.’
    2. 2.2[in names]A broadcasting station or channel.
      ‘Radio One’
      • ‘The finals are broadcast on BBC radio and television.’
      • ‘Clear Channel radio owns almost any station you could be listening to in any market.’
      • ‘The choir has regularly broadcast on RTE radio and television.’
  • 3An apparatus for receiving radio programmes.

    ‘he switched the radio on’
    • ‘He was the sort of person who would angrily thump the table and shout at the radio during political discussion programmes.’
    • ‘I started my car as I bit on my sandwich and almost mechanically switched on the radio.’
    • ‘Ralph switched on the AM radio and spun the dial, looking for a news program.’
    • ‘I heard a programme on the radio yesterday, an interview with a stand up comedian, Steve Day, who happens to be deaf.’
    • ‘Around half the radios switched on locally on a Saturday afternoon are tuned to the station's commentary.’
    • ‘She reached towards the radio to switch off the song before the next verse, but she was too far away and her vision was blurred from tears.’
    • ‘She switched off the radio and slowed the car in the silence.’
    • ‘I was shocked to see the number of listeners who had switched off their radios in just 12 months.’
    • ‘The TV has been switched off and the radio has been silenced.’
    • ‘We are tuned into a good programme on the radio, a kipper the size of a ship's lifebelt is gently grilling and I have a pot of tea mashing at my elbow.’
    • ‘At the next stop light he deftly popped open the housing of the radio and switched something inside.’
    • ‘On the train, I switched the radio on to a phone-in programme where listeners expressed their worries about the escalating situation.’
    • ‘When she heard a programme on the radio about the service she volunteered straightaway.’
    • ‘The only count on which he was found not guilty was of stealing a mobile phone and car radio from Mr Ducey.’
    • ‘After the weather bulletin, Chris switched the radio off after the first few notes of the next song.’
    • ‘With a touch of a button located above the radio, Kantor can switch from diesel fuel to vegetable oil in seconds.’
    • ‘I enjoy the orchestra's programmes, both by way of live performance and by listening to them on the Concert Programme on the radio.’
    • ‘Jude reached, turning on the radio and switching it to CD.’
    • ‘She turned the radio on and switched it around until she found a good country station.’
    • ‘Talia turned up the volume on the radio and the following message could be heard coming out of it.’
    • ‘Then each group's radios can be programmed to receive only specific talk groups.’
    1. 3.1An apparatus capable of both receiving and transmitting radio messages between individuals, ships, planes, etc.
      ‘a ship-to-shore radio’
      • ‘Microlights can be flown anywhere outside controlled airspace and while most planes have one, a radio is not mandatory.’
      • ‘The Marauders had been stripped to minimum weight to maximise fuel economy and for the same reason only the lead plane had a radio, a fatal factor in thick fog.’
      • ‘The new radios transmit a code that can immediately be traced to the user.’
      • ‘The company commander loved it, yelling into the radio as each plane made its pass.’
      • ‘While the men were trained in sabotage and to kill silently, the women operated radios and broadcast false messages.’
      • ‘The ship's radios would be on, but the running lights and the tower beacon would be secured.’
      • ‘With no radios capable of contacting the Paras in the town or in Amarra, the Redcaps were stranded.’
      • ‘He may have inadvertently broadcast the message because he did not know how to operate the radio and the intercom.’
      • ‘It is well known that typical military broadband radios transmit only a few watts or less.’
      • ‘The number is programmed into the radio and identifies the caller, which should eventually cut down on hoax distress calls.’
      • ‘I asked them to shake their heads if they heard me, but the radio apparently was not transmitting.’
      • ‘He heard a message over the radio from a sailing boat not far behind his vessel.’
      • ‘When the bomb went through the bomb bay door, number five ship called on the radio and informed us that we had a bomb bay door flapping in the breeze.’
      • ‘The pilots screamed at ground staff over the radio to tow the planes to the gates before they lost total control of the situation.’
      • ‘A voice barked through the radio from the command ship ordering her to fire.’
      • ‘The necessary changes were made, the radio was installed in the nose, and the ship was ready for two-place flights.’
      • ‘He stood there with a distant look in his eyes holding a radio in his hand that was spattering incomprehensible messages from his superiors.’
      • ‘The radios also send text messages and updates on incidents, and there is an emergency button.’
      • ‘He was also passed a demodulator unit, which was to be connected to the short wave radio when a message was to be received.’
      • ‘This cut the defenders off from each other, since they were not allowed to use radios in case their messages were picked up by the enemy.’


  • 1 Communicate or send a message by radio.

    ‘we radioed for help’
    • ‘Over and over the frantic pilots radioed, asking for just one light so they could see to land.’
    • ‘When Dispatch asked if the suspects were believed to have weapons, the patrol unit radioed back, ‘Possibly a gun.’’
    • ‘They laid him on the ground behind one of the large stone benches at the entryway and radioed around frantically, while the man's companions tried reviving him.’
    • ‘I heard the man shouting and when I found out that his partner was in labour I ran outside and radioed for an ambulance.’
    • ‘I radioed to the team saying ‘I'm coming in, I have a puncture’ and the car felt reasonable to finish that lap, although I was locking the wheels strangely.’
    • ‘The passenger alerted flight staff and the pilot radioed through to the control centre who sent the emergency services around to save the couple.’
    • ‘A delivery truck entered the compound, and the pilot radioed to the communications center through her walkie-talkie.’
    • ‘The 39-year-old from Withington also arranged for the pilot to radio ahead for an ambulance to meet them at Manchester Airport.’
    • ‘The rescue troops rushed the compound, clearing it building-by-building until they found Young and radioed up to the Black Hawks for their ride out.’
    • ‘The Port Authority acting harbour master said the skipper anchored the boat and radioed for help about 5 am.’
    • ‘We pulled up, radioed for the police and ambulance and then went across to try to talk to him.’
    • ‘Despite the fact that he was critically low on ammunition, he provided some of it to the dazed pilot and then radioed for help.’
    • ‘The pilot flew by, radioed in, and confirmed that the fire was behind the cliffs.’
    • ‘They'll be radioing with this transmitter before their most recent message gets to the Bruton Corridor.’
    • ‘I radioed back to John, ‘John, is everything is secure with my units?’’
    • ‘Naturally the CSX dispatcher radioed for the police to come investigate the freight train, and we got underway about 10 minutes or so later.’
    • ‘The pilots radioed ahead to North American Aerospace Defence Command.’
    • ‘The agency forester radioed for a rescue boat, but the aluminum craft with its three-horsepower motor was no match for the powerful currents.’
    • ‘Air traffic controllers at Kerman airport said the pilot radioed about bad weather and strong winds before losing contact.’
    • ‘Hendrickson radioed up the chain of command in the Army's 1st Cavalry Division, relaying what he had seen and asking for instructions.’
    transmit, convey, communicate
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[with object]Communicate with (a person or place) by radio.
      ‘we'll radio Athens right away’
      • ‘One of them took out a walkie-talkie and radioed someone.’
      • ‘The soldier in the watchtower radioed his colleagues in the operations room as Iman, who was on her way to school, was around 100 metres from the post.’
      • ‘Police radioed others in the area to watch out for 5 suspicious looking youths on motorcycles and to arrest them if they saw them.’
      • ‘On a hunch, the researchers radioed the ground-based team and urged them to continue gathering data when the star re-emerged from behind Uranus.’
      • ‘When fire chiefs arrived at the scene they radioed the mayor that no one above the fire line could be saved.’
      • ‘If a car is unable to reach that speed, the tower will radio the driver and have him park the car.’
      • ‘By that time, Tracy had radioed the Los Angeles County Harbor Patrol and a rescue boat with divers was on the way.’
      • ‘Gruneisen radioed the captain: ‘Did you go through a traffic circle?’’
      • ‘He radioed the engineer, who replied that we would be at Clifton Forge about 2: 40 pm.’
      • ‘Police radioed officers in the area and caught up with the trio.’
      • ‘Police attending the scene radioed officers in an attempt to capture them, but were unsuccessful and both men are still at large.’
      • ‘I radioed the team and they told me that they could tell that there had been a change to the aerodynamics on the car and the handling was very bad.’
      • ‘That afternoon, just as we were about to head in for the day, our spotter pilot radioed us the position of another shark.’
      • ‘The officer went to the back of his cruiser to radio the officer at the site of the robbery to check for more information.’
      • ‘He radioed neighbours at 6.30 am to say he was under attack, and later reported he had been injured.’
      • ‘‘I was coming through the Canada corner smelling smoke, then I lost the gears, and next thing I know the guys are radioing me that I'm on fire,’ Halliday said.’
      • ‘A groundskeeper watching all this radioed the specialist, who returned and put up another sign.’
      • ‘He left quickly to rescan the area just in case, and then radioed some place that Lichen didn't know.’
      • ‘He is believed to have radioed the team for permission to park the car but was ordered to continue.’
      • ‘If we see any trouble at all, we'll radio you, or come down to help you.’


Early 20th century: from radio- in radio-telegraphy and radio-telegram, based on Latin radius ray, beam.