Morse code

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Acronyms, Wikipedia.

See also: Morse Code (table)Morse Code

International Morse Code
A · –
B – · · ·
C – · – ·
D – · ·
E ·
..... Click the link for more information.

Morse code

[for S. F. B. MorseMorse, Samuel Finley Breese,
1791–1872, American inventor and artist, b. Charlestown, Mass., grad. Yale, 1810. He studied painting in England under Washington Allston and achieved some success.
..... Click the link for more information.
], the arbitrary set of signals used on the telegraphtelegraph,
term originally applied to any device or system for distant communication by means of visible or audible signals, now commonly restricted to electrically operated devices. Attempts at long-distance communication date back thousands of years (see signaling).
..... Click the link for more information.
 (see codecode,
in communications, set of symbols and rules for their manipulation by which the symbols can be made to carry information. By this extended definition all written and spoken languages are codes.
..... Click the link for more information.
). It may also be used with a flash lamp for visible signalingsignaling,
transmission of information by visible, audible, or other detectable means. Since prehistoric times humans have sought and employed ever more effective means of communicating over distance. Signal fires on mountain tops announced awaited events.
..... Click the link for more information.
. The international (or continental) Morse code is a simplified form generally used in radio telegraphy. The American Morse differs from the international Morse in 11 letters, in all the numerals except the numeral 4, and in the punctuation code. The unit of the code is the dot, representing a very brief depression of the telegraph key. The dash represents a depression lasting three times as long as a dot. Between the depressions there is a pause equal in time to one dot, except in a few letters and signs, when there is a wait of two dots. The pause between letters in a word lasts as long as one dash, between words it lasts as long as two dashes. The International Morse code is shown in the table entitled Morse CodeMorse Code

International Morse Code
A · –
B – · · ·
C – · – ·
D – · ·
E ·
..... Click the link for more information.
. Morse code is now mainly used by amateur (ham) radio operators. The U.S. Coast Guard stopped monitoring Morse code transmissions in 1995 when their use in sending distress calls had been almost entirely superseded by automated systems using satellite relay.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Morse Code


a nonuniform telegraph code in which each symbol is expressed by a combination of pulses of electric current. Each combination consists of elementary (shortest) pulses, or dots, and pulses of triple duration, or dashes. The code was developed in 1837 by S. Morse for use in his telegraph apparatus.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Morse code

[′mȯrs ′kōd]
A telegraph code for manual operating, consisting of short (dot) and long (dash) signals and various-length spaces; now used only for wire telegraphy. Also known as American Morse code.
Collective term for Morse code (American Morse code) and continental code (International Morse code).
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Morse code

A coding system invented by Samuel A. Morse, for use in sending character data over extremely low-quality pathways -- such as telegraphs and low-quality radio. Morse code expresses characters as pulses of different durations. Short signals are called "dots" and long signals are calles "dashes". The coding assigns shorter sequences to the most frequently used characters.

American Morse code is the first and original Morse code character set. Character sets adapted to other languages were developed later.

American Morse Code:

A . __ J . . S . . . 1 . __ __ . B __ . . . K __ . __ T __ 2 . . __ . . C . . . L ___ U . . __ 3 . . . __ . D __ . . M __ __ V . . . __ 4 . . . . __ E . N __ . W . __ __ 5 __ __ __ F . __ . O . . X . __ . . 6 . . . . . . G __ __ . P . . . . . Y . . . . 7 __ __ . . H . . . . Q . . __ . Z . . . . 8 __ . . . . I . . R . . . 0 ____ 9 __ . . __

Where . is a short pulse, __ a long pulse, ___ a very long pulse and ____ a extra long pulse. There are also long and short spaces character-internal. Intercharacter spaces are very long and interword spaces are extra long. There is no standarisation in these durations, and they vary depending on the coder's preference and on the quality of the line.

Continental Morse Code or International Morse Code is a widely used de-facto standard. This table summarises the Western European usage of Continental Morse Code:

A .- G --. M -- S ... Y -.-- 4 ....- B -... H .... N -. T - Z --.. 5 ..... C -.-. I .. O --- U ..- 0 ----- 6 -.... D -.. J .--- P .--. V ...- 1 .---- 7 --... E . K -.- Q --.- W .-- 2 ..--- 8 ---.. F ..-. L .-.. R .-. X -..- 3 ...-- 9 ----.

A-umlaut (1) .-.- E-acute ..-.. A-acute .--.- N-tilde --.-- A-corona (11) .--.- O-umlaut (1) ---. CH (2) ---- U-umlaut (1) ..--

Punctuation Marks: Other Signs:

period .-.-.- warning .-..- comma --..-- error ........ question mark ..--.. repetition (ii ii) .. .. hyphen -....- wait (AS) .-... colon (3) ---... interruption (BK) -...-.- underline (4) ..--.- understood (VE) ...-. apostrophe .----. transmission received (R) .-. quotation mark .-..-. beginning of message (KA) -.-.- parenthesis open (5)-.--. end of message (AR) .-.-. parenthesis (close) -.--.- end of transmission (K) (6) -.- equal sign (7) -...- end of transmission (KN) (8) -.--. plus sign .-.-. closing mark (SK) (9) ...-.- multiplication sign -..- closing station (CL) -.-..-. fraction mark -..-. separator (10) .-..-

(1) Note: 'umlaut' is also known as 'diaeresis' (2) Used only in German; not in Dutch. (3) also: 'divided by' (4) before and after the word to be underlined (5) purportedly replaced by -.--.- for both "(" and ")" (6) both and invitation to any station to start transmission (7) also used as spacing between parts of transmission (8) also an invitation to one station in particular to start transmission (9) connection will be closed. (10) in fractions, for example. (11) A-ring ?

Where '.' is a short pulse, '-' a long one. A '-' is three times as long as a '.'; character-internal spaces are as long as '.'s. Intercharacter space are as long as -'s. Spaces between words are as long as seven '.'s.
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (

Morse code

A character code invented by Samuel Morse that is represented by the duration of a single tone. Written as dots, dashes and spaces, the first Morse code message was sent in 1844 over a newly constructed telegraph line between Baltimore and Washington. In World War II, Morse code was sent by light signals. A variation of the original was made by Friedrich Gerke in 1848, which evolved into the International Morse Code.

Dits and Dahs - Actually Hear Them!
The code was based on English; E and T being the most frequently used letters, hence one dot was assigned to E and one dash for T (see table below). Dots and dashes are vocalized as "dit" and "dah," and the timing is one dit between each dit and dah, three dits between letters and seven dits between words. To hear an audible translation in Morse code of any text, visit Try catching the rhythm.

Morse Code Beat Out Texting
In 2007, Tonight Show host Jay Leno posed a speed challenge. Given the secret message at the same time "I just saved a bunch of money on my car insurance," the Morse code operator tapped all the words to his colleague across the stage before the young texter could finish typing the sentence. See Gmail Tap and telegraph.

International Morse Code

  A   .-       U   ..-    
  B   -...     V   ...-   
  C   -.-.     W   .--    
  D   -..      X   -..-   
  E   .        Y   -.--   
               Z   --..   
  F   ..-.
  G   --.      0   -----  
  H   ....     1   .----  
  I   ..       2   ..---  
  J   .---     3   ...--  
               4   ....-  
  K   -.-      5   .....  
  L   .-..     6   -....  
  M   --       7   --...  
  N   -.       8   ---..  
  O   ---      9   ----.  

  P   .--.     Period      .-.-.-
  Q   --.-     Comma       --..--
  R   .-.      ? Mark      ..--..
  S   ...      Hyphen      -....-
  T   -        Apostrophe  .----.
               Colon       ---...
  U   ..-      Quotation   .-..-.
  V   ...-     Slash       -..-.
  W   .--      @ sign      .--.-.
  X   -..-
  Y   -.--
  Z   --..
Copyright © 1981-2019 by The Computer Language Company Inc. All Rights reserved. THIS DEFINITION IS FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY. All other reproduction is strictly prohibited without permission from the publisher.
References in periodicals archive ?
The Morse code feature is now available in the Gboard beta.
A new version of Morse code, known as international Morse code, eventually became accepted as the standard form of dot and dash language.
The TCT works even better with Morse code messages than simply talking into it.
At the end of each showing of "Genesis," Kac has the added gene's DNA sequence reanalyzed by scientists and he translates it back into Morse code and then English.
But thanks to her schoolgirl knowledge of Morse code, she has been able to communicate using dots and dashes.
It seems you enjoyed the ones I printed (particularly mother-in law woman Hitler) so here's another selection to tickle your fancy: The Morse code = here come dots.
Germaine has a light on the platform and several on the side of the building facing Newcastle flash in Morse code, broadcasting messages texted by members of the public.
There is something determinedly blank about Warr's pictures--just as blank as the faces within them, their mouths and eyes (where indicated at all) reduced to dots and dashes in some impenetrable Morse code of expression.
Also on this day: 1543: Death of Polishastronomer Nicolas Copernicus; 1686: Birth of German physicist Gabriel Daniel Fahrenheit; 1808: Dartmoor Prison opened to house French prisoners-of-war; 1819: Birth of Queen Victoria; 1844: Samuel Morse transmitted the first message of the US telegraph in Morse code; 1862: Westminster Bridge opened; 1988: Snow fell on the Syrian desert and Damascus had ten hours of snowfall for the first time in 50 years.
The subject attempted to control his alpha waves while listening to computer feedback of both alphawave content and the computer's interpretation in Morse code. The first communication transmitted by this method, direct from brain to computer, was the word cybernetics.
Dormitory..................Dirty Room Evangelist.................Evil's Agent Desperation..............A Rope Ends It The Morse Code.....Here Come Dots Slot Machines..........Cash Lost in 'em Animosity..................Is No Amity Mother-in-law...........Woman Hitler Snooze Alarms........Alas!
TWO of the world's most powerful lasers will beam "thank you" in morse code from the roof of Livei rpool's Royal Livei r Building to mark the Battle of the Atlantic.