English

Definition of radio noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

  1. 1  (also the radio) [uncountable, singular] the activity of broadcasting programmes for people to listen to; the programmes that are broadcast The interview was broadcast on radio and television. The play was written specially for radio. I listen to the radio on the way to work. Did you hear the interview with him on the radio? local/national radio a radio programme/station Wordfinderair, announce, bulletin, jingle, phone-in, podcast, programme, public service broadcasting, radio, station CultureradioPeople in Britain listen to the radio a lot, especially in the morning and the early evening or while they are in their cars. Many people rely on the radio to hear the latest news. Later in the evening television attracts larger audiences. Radio used to be called the wireless, but this is now very old-fashioned.Over 90% of people in Britain listen to the radio every week. Around 54% of the British radio audience listen to the BBC; the rest listen to independent commercial radio, which has advertising. There are ten national BBC radio stations. Radio 1 plays new rock, pop and dance music, Radio 2 broadcasts popular music, comedy and documentaries, Radio 3 offers classical music (= serious music written by Bach, Beethoven, etc.), jazz and arts programmes, Radio 4 broadcasts popular news and current affairs programmes, drama and arts programmes, and Radio 5 Live has sport and news. The other BBC stations, which cater for more specific interests and can be listened to only on digital radio, are 1Xtra, 4 Extra, 5 Live Sports Extra, 6 Music, and Asian Network. The BBC also operates the BBC World Service, which broadcasts to most parts of the world. Independent radio stations which broadcast in competition with the BBC and are paid for from advertising include Classic FMtalkSPORT and, in London, Capital Radio. Many programmes, both from the BBC and commercial stations, can be listened to on the Internet. Many people also listen to local radio. The BBC has 40 local radio stations, and six stations broadcasting in the national regions: Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Radio Cymru broadcasts in the Welsh language and Radio nan Gaidheal in Scottish Gaelic. Local radio stations concentrate on local news, traffic reports and pop music. Smaller stations are run by students or by hospitals for their patients. Ofcom issues licences (= documents giving permission) to commercial broadcasters.In the US there are more than 13 000 radio stations. Many people listen to the radio during drive time, the time when they are travelling to or from work. There are no national radio stations, but there are networks, groups of stations that are associated with each other. The network affiliates (= stations in the group) use some of the same programmes.The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), a part of the US government, issues licences to radio stations and says what frequency (= what part of the range of radio waves) they can use. The FCC also gives a station its call letters, the letters that it uses to identify itself. Many stations make their name from their call letters or frequency, e.g. Sunny 95.Each station has a specific format (= style of programmes), which it hopes will be popular with its listenership (AmE for ‘audience’). Some stations play a particular kind of music, such as ‘top 40’ (= popular songs) or country music. Other stations have talk radio and phone-in programmes, in which radio presenters discuss an issue and invite people listening to telephone the station and take part in the discussion. Ethnic radio stations operated by people from particular cultural groups offer programmes in languages other than English. Some stations broadcast religious programming (= types of programmes). In 2004 Air America Radio was started as a new network that aims to offer a politically liberal radio to stations nationwide.Many towns also have a public radio station, which is part of the NPR network. Public radio stations often have public affairs programming and classical music, which is not common on commercial radio. The Broadcasting Board of Governors, an independent agency of the US government, operates the Voice of America, which brings information about the US, its culture and language to people around the world. See related entries: Radio broadcasting, Listening to music
  2. 2  [countable] a piece of equipment used for listening to programmes that are broadcast to the public to turn the radio on/off a car radio see also clock radio See related entries: Radio technology
  3. 3  [uncountable] the process of sending and receiving messages through the air using electromagnetic waves He was unable to contact Blake by radio. to keep in radio contact radio signals/waves
  4. 4  [countable] a piece of equipment, for example on ships or planes, for sending and receiving radio signals to hear a gale warning on/over the ship’s radio See related entries: Communication devices, Parts of boats and ships
  5. Word Origin early 20th cent.: abbreviation of radio-telephony.Extra examples According to my clock radio it was 3.30 in the morning. He drove along with his windows open and the radio blaring out. He was singing along with the car radio. His radio is permanently tuned to Radio 1. It was fascinating to listen to the radio chatter from the ships. The distress call was picked up by a young radio ham. The message was sent by radio. The radio announced that the president had been assassinated. The song is currently getting heavy radio airplay. The troops maintained a strict radio silence while they moved into position. There were calls for cab radios to link train drivers and signal boxes. We were listening to a show on the radio. the largest radio broadcaster in the US
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: radio