1. The act of communicating; transmission.
a. The exchange of thoughts, messages, or information, as by speech, signals, writing, or behavior.
b. Interpersonal rapport.
3. communications (used with a sing. or pl. verb)
a. The art and technique of using words effectively to impart information or ideas.
b. The field of study concerned with the transmission of information by various means, such as print or broadcasting.
c. Any of various professions involved with the transmission of information, such as advertising, broadcasting, or journalism.
4. Something communicated; a message.
5. communications A means of communicating, especially:
a. A system, such as mail, telephone, or television, for sending and receiving messages.
b. A network of routes for sending messages and transporting troops and supplies.
6. communications The technology employed in transmitting messages.
7. Biology The transfer of information from one molecule, cell, or organism to another, as by chemical or electrical signals or by behaviors.
a. An opening or connecting passage between two structures.
b. A joining or connecting of solid fibrous structures, such as tendons and nerves.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.