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 forI 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

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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 That means instead of downloading an entirely new app, users can launch a snippet by scanning a QR code, or by tapping a link shared via text or the Safari web browser. Michelle Toh, CNN, "Mini apps could reinvent the way you use your iPhone. China led the way," 13 Oct. 2020 The Illinois Department of Public Health, citing a state communicable diseases code, does not release details about where many outbreaks have occurred, limiting its disclosures to long-term care and assisted living facilities. Georgia Gee, USA TODAY, "Confidential coronavirus outbreak data shows thousands of undisclosed incidents across Illinois," 12 Oct. 2020 This legal matter involved sign codes in communities and the question of whether a sign code violated the First Amendment of free speech. Laura Bednar, cleveland, "Independence updates city sign ordinance," 11 Oct. 2020 Schweigert's post said 360Care had given football families a code to use for $10 off a test, and that results would not be reported to the county. Lorraine Longhi, The Arizona Republic, "As high school athletes test positive and games canceled, some parents debate hiding COVID-19 test results," 9 Oct. 2020 Republic Bank clients can get $5 off tickets for Tuesday, Oct. 13, by using a code provided by their bank. Kirby Adams, The Courier-Journal, "We visited the Jack O'Lantern Spectacular. Here's what the car experience is like for 2020," 9 Oct. 2020 Customers who are dining at the restaurant will look over a disposable menu or online through a QR code at their tables, then order at a counter; their meals will be brought to the tables. Carol Deptolla, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "The growing number of Milwaukee seafood-boil restaurants will include Lowcountry, due soon downtown," 8 Oct. 2020 At the end of its official statement, the restaurant shared a promo code for fans who want to enjoy its deep dish in the coming week. Olivia Harrison, refinery29.com, "Lou Malnati’s Pizza Has Some Choice Words About The Emily In Paris Shade," 8 Oct. 2020 Despite a month of talks Afghan government representatives and the Taliban are yet to agree on a code of conduct or procedural rules intended to guide the formal talks ahead. Eltaf Najafizada, Bloomberg.com, "Afghan Leader Wants Taliban to Help Fight Against Islamic State," 7 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb There’s an app that looks like a video game but will allegedly teach her how to code. Lydia Kiesling, The New Yorker, "The Aspirational Android Parenting of “Raised by Wolves”," 5 Oct. 2020 Fueled by that question, Mayen began his mission to teach himself through tutorials how to code, design and create his own video game from scratch. Ryan Bergeron, CNN, "How this man is using video games to help refugees," 1 Oct. 2020 One of the recipients was Ed Farm, a program teaching Birmingham students and adults to code and get involved with technology. William Thornton | Wthornton@al.com, al, "Apple-supported Ed Farm workforce training program gets award," 23 Sep. 2020 The additional money likely won't start going out to unemployment recipients until October, though, because the department has to code its system to pay out the money. Laura Schulte, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin not planning to seek repayment on $300 federal unemployment benefit," 17 Sep. 2020 The operator would read the address and, through some keystrokes, would code that mail to its destination. Sophie Bushwick, Scientific American, "Mail-Sorting Machines Are Crucial for the U.S. Postal Service," 14 Sep. 2020 TechCrunch reports that Scratch, a popular platform developed at MIT on which children can learn to code, has been banned inside China since the middle of August. Kate Cox, Ars Technica, "China plans new data policy in response to Trump admin’s “bullying”," 8 Sep. 2020 Learn how to code the robots and create games using visual programming. Shirley Macfarland, cleveland, "Get up and get fit at the Broadview Heights Community and Rec Center: Talk of the Towns," 4 Sep. 2020 People might code their dogs’ behavior as anxious, but Mills says it’s actually frustration. Maura Judkis, Washington Post, "Dogs, too, can find the pandemic disorienting," 24 Aug. 2020

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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Time Traveler for code

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for code

Last Updated

18 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Code.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/code. Accessed 29 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for code

code

noun
How to pronounce code (audio)

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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Comments on code

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