(redirected from carrier state)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal.


1. a mechanism by which something is carried or moved, such as a device for transmitting rotation from the faceplate of a lathe to the workpiece
2. Pathol another name for vector
3. Pathol a person or animal that, without having any symptoms of a disease, is capable of transmitting it to others
4. Physics an electron, ion, or hole that carries the charge in a conductor or semiconductor
5. short for carrier wave
6. Chem
a. the inert solid on which a dyestuff is adsorbed in forming a lake
b. a substance, such as kieselguhr or asbestos, used to support a catalyst
c. an inactive substance containing a radioisotope used in radioactive tracing
d. an inert gas used to transport the sample through a gas-chromatography column
e. a catalyst that effects the transfer of an atom or group from one molecule to another
7. a breed of domestic fancy pigeon having a large walnut-shaped wattle over the beak; a distinct variety of pigeon from the homing or carrier pigeon
8. a US name for roof rack
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


A substance that, when associated with a trace of another substance, will carry the trace with it through a chemical or physical process.
The radio wave produced by a transmitter when there is no modulating signal, or any other wave, recurring series of pulses, or direct current capable of being modulated. Also known as carrier wave; signal carrier.
A wave generated locally at a receiver that, when combined with the sidebands of a suppressed-carrier transmission in a suitable detector, produces the modulating wave.
An individual who is heterozygous for a recessive gene.
A protein to which a hapten becomes attached, thereby rendering the hapten immunogenic.
(mechanical engineering)
Any machine for transporting materials or people.
A person who harbors and eliminates an infectious agent and so transmits it to others, but who may not show signs of the disease.
(naval architecture)
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


A periodic waveform upon which an information-bearing signal is impressed. This process is known as modulation and comprises a variety of forms such as amplitude, phase, and frequency modulation. The most common type of carrier is the sinusoidal carrier, but any periodic waveform followed by a band-pass filter can serve as a carrier.

McGraw-Hill Concise Encyclopedia of Engineering. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


1. A mobile prime mover for transporting construction machines; also may serve as the working base or undercarriage of the machine.
2. A container attached to or hung from a trolley for moving a load from one point to another on a construction site.
3. A carrier angle or carrier bar which supports treads formed from metal grating.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


(1) An organization that provides communications and networking services. See common carrier, private carrier and MVNO.

(2) A waveform that has a fixed center frequency. It is used to contain data and establish a unique channel that can be identified independently of other channels. Carriers are the primary method used to send wireless signals over the air in order to differentiate between transmitting stations. For example, AM and FM radio, TV, satellite and Wi-Fi all use carriers. In fact, AM and FM radio actually use the carrier frequency as their station's channel number.

Multiple Carriers - Multiple Data Streams
Carriers are also used to transmit multiple channels simultaneously within a wire or fiber. For example, several voice, data and video signals can travel over the same line, each residing in its own carrier vibrating at a different frequency. See definition #2 in broadband.

Multiple Carriers - One Data Stream
Instead of sending a separate stream of data in each carrier, multiple carriers can be used for only one channel of data. For example, the widely used orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) method uses numerous subcarriers for only one transmitting channel and one stream of data (see OFDM). See modulation and subcarrier.

Carrier Signal
The radio station transmits audio in a carrier, which is altered (modulated) with the analog signal. The receiving tuner latches onto the carrier's center frequency and isolates the audio, which is sent to the amplifier. The amplifier boosts the signal and sends it to the speakers. Carriers are also used to transmit digital data (see modulation).
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.