from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A manner, way, or method of doing something, experiencing something, or acting: synonym: method.
  • noun A particular form or kind.
  • noun A given condition of functioning; a status or operation.
  • noun The current or customary fashion or style.
  • noun Any of certain fixed arrangements of the diatonic tones of an octave, as the major and minor scales of Western music.
  • noun A patterned arrangement, as the one characteristic of the music of classical Greece or the medieval Christian Church.
  • noun Philosophy The particular appearance, form, or manner in which an underlying substance, or a permanent aspect or attribute of it, is manifested.
  • noun The arrangement or order of the propositions in a syllogism according to both quality and quantity.
  • noun Statistics The value or item occurring most frequently in a series of observations or statistical data.
  • noun Mathematics The number or range of numbers in a set that occurs the most frequently.
  • noun Geology The mineral composition of an igneous rock expressed in terms of percentage of the total sample weight or volume.
  • noun Physics Any of numerous patterns of wave motion or vibration.
  • noun Grammar Mood.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To conform to the mode or fashion: with an indefinite it.
  • noun A Middle English form of mood.
  • noun In mathematics:
  • noun The most frequent measure; the class with greatest frequency.
  • noun The point at which a curve, indicating frequencies of occurrence of a variable event, reaches its maximum. In the normal frequency curve (see Quételet's curve), the average is at the same time the mode, while in skew curves the average and mode do not coincide.
  • noun In a table of frequencies which gives a list of the different quantities appearing, with a statement of the number of times that each appeared, the one which occurs most often.
  • noun In biom., that statistical value of a character which is most prevalent in a group of organisms.
  • noun In petrography, in the quantitative classification of igneous rocks (see rock), the actual mineral composition of a rock in distinction from the norm, with which it may or may not coincide.
  • noun A manner of acting or doing; way of performing or effecting anything; method; way.
  • noun Customary manner; prevailing style; fashion.
  • noun In grammar, the designation, by the form of the verb, of the manner of our conception of an event or fact, whether as certain, contingent, possible, desirable, or the like.
  • noun The natural disposition or the manner of existence or action of anything; a form: as, heat is a mode of motion; reflection is a mode of consciousness.
  • noun A combination of ideas. See the quotations.
  • noun In logic:
  • noun A modification or determination of a proposition with reference to possibility and necessity.
  • noun A variety of syllogism. See mood, the more usual but less proper form.
  • noun The consignificate of a part of speech.
  • noun An accidental determination.
  • noun In music:
  • noun A species or form of scale; a method of dividing the interval of the octave for melodic purposes; an arrangement of tones within an octave at certain fixed intervals from each other.
  • noun These modes were embodied in scales of about two octaves, sometimes called transposing scales, which were more or less susceptible of transposition. By the later theorists fifteen such scales were recognized, each derived from one of the foregoing modes, and beginning at adifferent pitch, each a half-step higher than the preceding. These scales, though not always differing from each other in mode, but only in relative pitch, were also called modes, and were named like the modes themselves. Assuming the lowest tone of the lowest scale to be A, the series of later scales or “modes” would be:
  • noun Hypodorian, embodying mode IV. above, A.
  • noun Hypoionian, Hypoiastian, or lower Hypophrygian (mode V.), B♭.
  • noun Hypophrygian (mode V.), B.
  • noun Hypoæolian, or lower Hypolydian (mode VI.), C.
  • noun Hypolydian (mode VI.), C♮.
  • noun Dorian (mode I.), D.
  • noun Ionian, Iastian, or lower Phrygian (mode II.), E♭.
  • noun Phrygian (mode II.), E.
  • noun Æolian, or lower Lydian (mode III.), F.
  • noun Lydian (mode III.), F♮.
  • noun Hyperdorian, or Mixolydian (mode VII.), G.
  • noun Hyperionian, Hyperiastian, or higher Mixolydian (mode VII.), G♮.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, tune, from Latin modus, manner, tune. Sense 2, French, from Old French, fashion, manner, from Latin modus; see med- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French mode.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin modus ("measure, due measure, rhythm, melody")


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word mode.


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  • Something was said of the propriety of walling up the culprit alive, -- a mode of disposing of small family-matters somewhat _à la mode_ in those times.

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  • _indicative_ mode; as, The man _walks_; but sometimes the action or occurrence of which I wish to speak, is doubtful, and then I must not declare it positively, but I must adopt another _mode_ of expression; thus, _If_ the man _walk_, he will refresh himself with the bland breezes.

    English Grammar in Familiar Lectures Samuel Kirkham

  • 'U_USER_IP' = > append_sid ( "{$phpbb_root_path} viewonline. $phpEx", 'mode = lookup'. (($mode coolzero 2009

  • 'U_USER_IP' = > append_sid ( "{$phpbb_root_path} viewonline. $phpEx", 'mode = lookup'. (($mode hatebreeder138 2009

  • Conservative default brain mode is like that of an elderly person backing up without looking.

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  • Juniper had the term "goblin time" in the back of her mind as something people on the internet joked about, then changed it to "goblin mode" because it seemed just true enough.

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