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

  • n. The fact, state, or quality of being modal.
  • n. A tendency to conform to a general pattern or belong to a particular group or category.
  • n. Logic The classification of propositions on the basis of whether they assert or deny the possibility, impossibility, contingency, or necessity of their content. Also called mode.
  • n. The ceremonial forms, protocols, or conditions that surround formal agreements or negotiations: "[He] grew so enthusiastic about our prospects that he began to speculate on the modalities of signing” ( Henry A. Kissinger).
  • n. Medicine A therapeutic method or agent, such as surgery, chemotherapy, or electrotherapy, that involves the physical treatment of a disorder.
  • n. Physiology Any of the various types of sensation, such as vision or hearing.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. the state of being modal
  • n. the classification of propositions on the basis on whether they claim possibility, impossibility, contingency or necessity; mode
  • n. the inflection of a verb that shows how its action is conceived by the speaker; mood
  • n. any method of therapy that involves therapeutic treatment
  • n. any of the senses (such as sight or taste)
  • n. a particular way in which the information is to be encoded for presentation to humans, i.e. to the type of sign and to the status of reality ascribed to or claimed by a sign, text or genre
  • n. the organization and structure of the church, as distinct from sodality or parachurch organizations
  • n. the subject concerning certain diatonic scales known as musical modes
  • n. a concept in Anthony Giddens structuration theory

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The quality or state of being modal.
  • n. A modal relation or quality; a mode or point of view under which an object presents itself to the mind. According to Kant, the quality of propositions, as assertory, problematical, or apodeictic.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The fact of being a mode.
  • n. A determination of an accident; a mode.
  • n. Mode in the logical sense; that wherein problematical, assertoric, and apodictic judgments are distinguished.
  • n. In civil law, the quality of being limited as to time or place of performance, or, more loosely, of being suspended by a condition: said of a promise.
  • n. 5. Same as modalism.
  • n. In psychology:
  • n. The nature or character of sensation or stimulus as determined by the sense-department to which it belongs or appeals: a term proposed by Helmholtz, to avoid a confusing use of quality.
  • n. Hence— the sense-department itself: as, sensations of different modalities.

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

  • n. a method of therapy that involves physical or electrical therapeutic treatment
  • n. a particular sense
  • n. verb inflections that express how the action or state is conceived by the speaker
  • n. a classification of propositions on the basis of whether they claim necessity or possibility or impossibility


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • I have an inkling that a narrative dynamics based in modality could be factored up to a narrative logic, an informal logic that I'm sorely tempted to call a "suppositional calculus".

    Modality and Hamlet

  • This neutralisation or masking of the “could not happen” or “could not have happened” modality is the basis of dewarping, the cancellation of warp (in this case credibility).

    Archive 2009-06-01

  • Each Introit retains its Gregorian psalmtone verse, whose proper modality is reflected in the harmonized Introit itself.

    Introits for Treble Choir

  • My most effective secret weapon treatment modality is osteopathic manual medicine.

    All Things Girl » All Things Girl » Blog Archive » Guest Post: Dr. Janine Talty, D. O., M. P. H.

  • This modality is especially valuable for detailed imaging of the brain and the spinal cord, for example in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS).

    The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2003

  • This modality is often superior to other imaging techniques.

    The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2003

  • Q No, I'm just wondering whether the leaders would actually get the word modality in.

    Dee Dee Myers Press Briefing

  • Way I see it, mimesis takes place in *any* narrative, suspension-of-disbelief just being the alethic modality aka subjunctivity of "did happen" we surrender to as readers, project onto the text.

    "Mimetic Fiction"

  • None of these conceptions, which were well known to early medieval thinkers through the works of Boethius, was associated with the idea of modality as involving reference to simultaneous alternatives.

    Medieval Theories of Modality

  • The so called modality of inclusiveness orchestrated by the Maoists is dragging the country in to a deadly ethnic and religious conflict which will have risk of disintegrating the country.

    Nepal: Peace Process in Peril


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