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.

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Other Words from code

Noun

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

Verb

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

Synonyms for code

Synonyms: Noun

canon, constitution, decalogue, law

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The City Council unanimously approved a change to the city’s zoning code that will hold accountable its 20 lodging establishments. San Diego Union-Tribune, "El Cajon sets stricter standards for hotels and motels," 20 June 2019 Meanwhile, state fire officials are expanding the 2008 building code. Kurtis Alexander, San Francisco Chronicle, "Can California avoid a third year of fire catastrophe? Here’s what’s been fixed — and what hasn’t," 20 June 2019 The city, in pursuit of progressive values, has made the San Francisco tax code a misbegotten hodgepodge of financial chicanery. Owen Thomas, SFChronicle.com, "San Francisco, why are you so taxing?," 19 June 2019 San Francisco's Board of Supervisors approved an ordinance amending the health code to prohibit the sale, manufacture, and distribution of tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes, on city property. NBC News, "San Francisco set to become first major U.S. city to ban e-cigarettes," 18 June 2019 The best code is found on the back side of a bag next to the UPC bar code. oregonlive.com, "WinCo Foods recalls frozen red raspberries for potential Norovirus," 17 June 2019 Two are included in the recall, both of which have the code 0 5150020031 5. Chris Morris, Fortune, "Pillsbury Recalls Flour on E. Coli Fears," 17 June 2019 Many people skip reading privacy policies, noted mobile app security researcher Will Strafach, who studied the underlying code of Facebook’s Research app earlier this year. Rachel Lerman, The Denver Post, "Facebook launching app that pays users for data on app usage," 16 June 2019 The new rules applied to anyone convicted of a crime after Oct. 1, 2011, and changed the statutes throughout California law, from the penal to the motor vehicle codes. Jason Pohl, ProPublica, "There Has Been an Explosion of Homicides in California’s County Jails. Here’s Why.," 15 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Beyond the pros, Apple also brings in student developers on scholarships, teaching them how to code and other skills, in the hopes that the students will become app makers of tomorrow. Jefferson Graham, USA TODAY, "Apple WWDC 2019: What's coming this fall to iOS 13, Watch OS and iPad," 3 June 2019 Most genetic research to date has focused on just 1 percent of the genome — the areas that code for proteins. Quanta Magazine, "Machine Intelligence Cracks Genetic Controls," 18 Dec. 2014 Thanks to specimens supplied by the Harvard Herbarium, the interdisciplinary team was able to code the fragrance genes of the extinct flowers, fill in genome gaps with surviving plant DNA, and inject the code into yeast to fabricate scent microbes. Jill Kiedaisch, Popular Mechanics, "You Can Now Smell a Flower That Went Extinct a Century Ago," 16 Apr. 2019 Taylor Swift superfans cracked this Da Swifty code way back in February, when the singer embedded some Illuminati-level clues into Instagram posts. Marie Claire, "Taylor Swift Superfans Called Her Big April 26 Announcement Months Ago," 13 Apr. 2019 Great Day: An owner presents a car with a drivability problem that won’t code (there’s no stored diagnostic trouble code). Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, "How to Become a Skilled Tradesperson," 13 Mar. 2019 And only a savvy programmer or a really dedicated DIY enthusiast will likely use a Vector to set up complex IFTTT operations or code a neat function of their own. Nick Statt, The Verge, "Anki Vector review: modern-day Tamagotchi," 5 Nov. 2018 Sometimes the girls code computer graphics that complement the dance and are projected onto the stage; other times, the students wear costumes with programmable lights that flash or change color depending on the wearer's movements. Shay Maunz, Glamour, "STEM From Dance Is Using Dance to Turn Teen Girls Into Coders," 7 Dec. 2018 Of course, every good doctor can code-switch to some degree, and today the old dichotomies break down. Laura Kolbe, WSJ, "‘Under the Knife’ Review: The Kindest Cuts," 14 Nov. 2018

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.

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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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Learn More about code

Dictionary Entries near code

codding

Coddington lens

coddle

code

codebook

codec

code clerk

Statistics for code

Last Updated

23 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for code

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

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More Definitions for code

code

noun

English Language Learners Definition of code

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a set of laws or regulations
: a set of ideas or rules about how to behave
: a set of letters, numbers, symbols, etc., that is used to secretly send messages to someone

code

verb

English Language Learners Definition of code (Entry 2 of 2)

: to put (a message) into the form of a code so that it can be kept secret
: to mark (something) with a code so that it can be identified
: to change (information) into a set of letters, numbers, or symbols that can be read by a computer

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, November 1986

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on code

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with code

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for code

Spanish Central: Translation of 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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