Morse Code

Why Trust Techopedia

What Does Morse Code Mean?

Morse code is a very simple system of communication based on a binary system of dots and dashes, or on some other similar contrasting series of signals. Developed during the 1800s, Morse code was in popular use for more than a century, although it has been largely replaced by more modern methods of communication.

Advertisements

Techopedia Explains Morse Code

Morse code was invented by Stephen Morse in 1836. It was widely used for primitive telegraph systems where Morse code messages were delivered by lines and cables. In the early days of radio transmissions, Morse code was also a dominant communication form sent over radio waves, until it became possible to send voice transmissions.

Although it is no longer widely used today as a communications medium, Morse code was extremely vital throughout the 1800s and even during the first half of the 20th century. For example, Morse code was extensively used in World War II military operations.

Most of the modern use of Morse code today involves amateur radio operators who learn it as part of their certification. Many of these individuals continue to communicate with Morse code over shortwave radio. Otherwise, Morse code is fairly obsolete, and its use by U.S. military and government offices has been largely discontinued.

Advertisements

Related Terms

Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor
Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.