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

  • adj. Of, relating to, or characteristic of a mode.
  • adj. Grammar Of, relating to, or expressing the mood of a verb.
  • adj. Music Of, relating to, characteristic of, or composed in any of the modes typical of medieval church music.
  • adj. Philosophy Of or relating to mode without referring to substance.
  • adj. Logic Expressing or characterized by modality.
  • adj. Statistics Of or relating to a statistical mode or modes.
  • n. See modal auxiliary.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. of, or relating to a mode or modus
  • adj. of, relating to, or describing the mood of a clause
  • adj. of, relating to, or composed in the musical modi by which an octave is divided, associated with emotional moods in Ancient - and in medieval ecclesiastical music
  • adj. of, or relating to the modality between propositions
  • adj. relating to the statistical mode.
  • adj. Having separate modes in which user input has different effects.
  • adj. requiring immediate user interaction (often used as modal dialog or modal window)
  • adj. Relating to the form of a thing rather to any of its attributes
  • n. A modal proposition
  • n. A modal form, notably a modal auxiliary.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of or pertaining to a mode or mood; consisting in mode or form only; relating to form; having the form without the essence or reality.
  • adj. Indicating, or pertaining to, some mode of conceiving existence, or of expressing thought, such as the modes of possibility or obligation.
  • adj. Pertaining to or denoting mood.
  • n. A modal auxiliary.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Pertaining to or affected by a mode; relating to the mode or manner, and not to the substance.
  • Specifically
  • Of or pertaining to a grammatical mode.
  • n. A modal proposition.
  • Of or pertaining to or having the numerical value of a statistical mode.
  • In petrography, in the quantitative system of classification of igneous rocks (see rock), relating to the mode.
  • Of or pertaining to the mode of a curve. See mode, 11.
  • In mathematics, most frequently occurring.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. relating to or constituting the most frequent value in a distribution
  • adj. relating to or expressing the mood of a verb
  • adj. of or relating to a musical mode; especially written in an ecclesiastical mode
  • n. an auxiliary verb (such as `can' or `will') that is used to express modality


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

Medieval Latin modālis, from Latin modus, measure; see med- in Indo-European roots.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Medieval Latin modalis ("pertaining to a mode"), from Latin modus ("mode"); see mode. Compare to French, Spanish and Portuguese modal and Italian modale.


  • According to the modal analogue, a cat or a person or a table would be a ˜transworld individual™ with ˜modal parts™ in different possible worlds, and not wholly present in any of them.)

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  • Hence the term modal jazz, which is used to describe the music on "Kind of Blue."

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  • I agree with you and deeply disagree with what you call modal realism, because I do not believe that mathematical objects and systems exist, in anything like the same meaning of existence that the physical universe exists.

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  • This is a perfectly objective fact, and it has a certain modal force (if the particles had moved away from each other, the forces would have fallen off with the square of the distance between them).

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  • He favored a style of musical collaboration he called modal improvisation.

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  • This new style of playing became known as modal jazz, in reference to the modal scales that musicians used for these extended jams over a tonal center.

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  • Many of those are working in modal epistemology, one of Kant’s main projects.

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  • The structure of dispositions described by Mumford (2004) and Psillos's (2003) idea of nomological structure are cognate to the idea of modal structure.

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  • Bub suggests that a number of traditional interpretations of quantum theory can be characterized as modal interpretations if the existence of a preferred observable is allowed.

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  • You cannot call a modal that exists in another page from the current page.

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