code

noun
\ ˈkōd How to pronounce code (audio) \
plural codes

Definition of code

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a systematic statement of a body of law especially : one given statutory force
2 : a system of principles or rules moral code
3a : a system of signals or symbols for communication
b : a system of symbols (such as letters or numbers) used to represent assigned and often secret meanings
c : coded language : a word or phrase chosen in place of another word or phrase in order to communicate an attitude or meaning without stating it explicitly The strategy also appealed to blue-collar workers in the Northeast and Northwest who were opposed to "forced bussing." This was expressed in code as favoring "law and order" and opposing "crime in the streets."— Elizabeth Drew usually used with for I hear the word "development" a lot in public speech; politicians and activists use it as code for a lot of things—jobs, health care, a change in leadership.— Sallie TisdaleThis quarter-century of Republican momentum was reversed finally by Bill Clinton, who called himself a "New Democrat," code for "not a liberal."— Joshua Muravchik
5 : instructions for a computer (as within a piece of software) writing code for a new app

code

verb
coded; coding

Definition of code (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to put in or into the form or symbols of a code

intransitive verb

1 : to specify the genetic code a gene that codes for a protein
2 : to create or edit computer code She got a job coding for Google.

Other Words from code

Noun

codeless \ ˈkōd-​ləs How to pronounce code (audio) \ adjective

Verb

codable \ ˈkō-​də-​bəl How to pronounce code (audio) \ adjective
coder noun

Synonyms for code

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of code in a Sentence

Noun Everyone in the organization has to follow its code of ethics. The army has a strict code of conduct. The enemy was unable to break the army's secret code. The message was sent in code. Every item in the store has a product code. Enter your security code to access the computer. Each employee is given a code number. He was hired to write programming code. Verb The general sent a coded message. Each product has been coded. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Deciphering this molecular code could allow researchers to better engineer T cells to do things like fight cancer. Megan Molteni, STAT, 14 May 2022 Now, its exclusivity is maintained not by racial code but mainly through economic inequality, even if the racial impact is not that different. Michael A. Fletcher, Washington Post, 13 May 2022 To make to-do-lists and color code our way into equity in the home, rather than demand the long-overdue compensation that would make our lives truly equitable. Reshma Saujani, ELLE, 13 May 2022 Rachel comes to see him and is put off by what seems to her less code-switching than racial cosplay. Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone, 13 May 2022 Because code violations and improper prior roof installations were uncovered during Griffith’s study, Orcutt indicated that his staff is researching warranties from when those roofs were installed. Beth Mlady, cleveland, 12 May 2022 While the honor will be presented live during the broadcast, fans can look out for an on-screen QR code, driving them to the Billboard ChartStars drop to redeem the exclusive collectible during a 20-minute window. James Dinh, Billboard, 11 May 2022 During the Wednesday meeting, the Kendall Heaton architects and accompanying Bedrock representatives mostly discussed building code technicalities and didn't give any project overview. Jc Reindl, Detroit Free Press, 11 May 2022 Many of the changes are to bring Aurora’s code into compliance with state laws, according to Payton. Steve Lord, Chicago Tribune, 11 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The Dubai government initiative aims to raise digital literacy in the Arab world by teaching 1 million young people from the region to code. Tamara Qiblawi, CNN, 13 May 2022 This reference, lawyers argued, is a clear allusion to – indeed, code for – a violent overthrow of the existing government. Ronald Sullivan, The Conversation, 9 May 2022 To use a flash loan, someone needs to be able to code a contract and execute it. Paul Vigna, WSJ, 8 May 2022 Humans devising non-sentient AI can likely find ways to code AI that is going to be extremely hard to keep confined. Lance Eliot, Forbes, 5 May 2022 Maintenance is usually not a matter of upgrading a single unit but multiple units at the same time, which means more money must be spent to get them up to code. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 20 Apr. 2022 Each 500 square foot home is built to code and gives families direct access to water, sanitation, and electricity. Jane Hanson, Forbes, 12 Apr. 2022 Ueno’s score — for the two performers and electronics — is an analogue to code switching, with faux classical and traditional Korean music, along with ’70s pop and contemporary avant-garde idioms. New York Times, 8 Apr. 2022 In a news release, the Department of Public Works described its challenges bringing both plants up to code. Emily Opilo, Baltimore Sun, 31 Mar. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'code.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of code

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1815, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for code

Noun

Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin caudex, codex trunk of a tree, document formed originally from wooden tablets

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Time Traveler for code

Time Traveler

The first known use of code was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near code

coddle

code

codebook

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Statistics for code

Last Updated

16 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Code.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/code. Accessed 19 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for code

code

noun
\ ˈkōd How to pronounce code (audio) \

Kids Definition of code

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a system of rules or principles a code of conduct
2 : a system of signals or letters and symbols with special meanings used for sending messages
3 : a collection of laws criminal code
5 : a set of instructions for a computer

code

verb
coded; coding

Kids Definition of code (Entry 2 of 2)

: to put in the form of a code

code

noun
\ ˈkōd How to pronounce code (audio) \

Medical Definition of code

 (Entry 1 of 2)

code

verb
coded; coding

Medical Definition of code (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to specify the genetic code for an amino acid coded by a nucleotide sequence

intransitive verb

1 : to specify the genetic code the DNA sequence of the gene that codes for that protein— Gina B. Kolata
2 : to experience cardiac arrest or respiratory failure They were taking her up to the operating room and she coded in the hallway. The resuscitation effort was heroic.— Perri Klass, Discover

code

noun

Legal Definition of code

1 : a systematic compilation or revision of law or legal principles that is arranged especially by subject: as
a : one that contains the law of a specific jurisdiction or topic promulgated by legislative authority U.S. Code Code of Massachusetts Regulations building code — compare case law, digest, statute
b : one that serves as a model for legislation but is not itself a law Model Penal Code
2 : a set of rules or regulations that is promulgated by a body (as a professional organization) and that regulates its industrial or professional practices ABA Code of Professional Responsibility

History and Etymology for code

Old French, from Medieval Latin codex, from Latin caudex codex tree trunk, set of wood writing tablets, book

More from Merriam-Webster on code

Nglish: Translation of code for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of code for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about code

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