code

noun
\ ˈkōd \
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 \ adjective

Verb

codable \ ˈkō-​də-​bəl \ 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

Save 30 percent on all orders at sleep brand Zonkd with promo code MLK30 through January 22. Brittney Morgan, House Beautiful, "Don't Miss These Amazing Home Sales This MLK Weekend," 17 Jan. 2019 Moda Operandi Enjoy free express shipping on orders over $500 with code HOLIDAYNOW or $25 same-day shipping. Madeline Fass, Vogue, "Procrastinators, Rejoice! These Last-Minute Gifts Are Guaranteed to Arrive in Time," 18 Dec. 2018 Industry West: Take 25 percent off sitewide with code CYBER. Jenny Xie, Curbed, "Best Cyber Monday deals you can still shop," 27 Nov. 2018 And finally, Beauty Insiders, or people who have just registered for rewards at Sephora, can shop for 15 percent off between November 16 and November 19 with the code BIBONUS. Kristin Corpuz, Allure, "Sephora Just Announced Its First Black Friday Deal and It’s Even Better Than We Imagined," 2 Nov. 2018 The deal will be an evening situation, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., and is available only online with the code HOT50. Adam Lukach, RedEye Chicago, "Heat wave pizza? Jet's Pizza offering half off on 90-degree days," 11 July 2018 Get $10 off your first Prime Now or Whole Foods Market Delivery with code 20PRIMENOW. Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press, "Grocery shopping? Some Amazon Prime Day deals have already begun," 10 July 2018 Regular tickets can also be bought online for $13 with the code JASON. Susan Dunne, courant.com, "Fright Haven Hosts Halloween In July With 'Friday The 13th Weekend'," 7 July 2018 Get the offer by signing up to get an invitation with promo code and use it at the register to get the freebie. Doreen Christensen, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Free iced espresso drinks at Starbucks on Thursday," 6 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 Here, Aphrodice Mutangana, the 33-year-old general manager of the K-Lab, spends his weekends teaching 9- to 15-year-olds to code. Gabriele Steinhauser, WSJ, "Rwanda: A Poster Child for Development With a Dark Side," 6 Nov. 2018 That way, a developer can run Linux apps and tools within a terminal window, with the goal of helping app makers code Android software on a Chromebook, as noted by 9to5Google. Nick Statt, The Verge, "Google releases Chrome OS 69 with new Material Theme design and Linux support," 18 Sep. 2018 Any reimagining of the first three games would have to be done with the same care the creators used to code the original. Harold Goldberg, chicagotribune.com, "Classic games, lovingly reimagined in 'Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy'," 13 July 2018 Help bring unpermitted live-work spaces up to code In the wake of the deadly Ghost Ship fire that killed that 36 people at a warehouse in Oakland, cities across the country have cracked down on unpermitted live-work spaces. Ethan Varian, Los Angeles Magazine, "How Can L.A. Keep Artists in the Arts District?," 20 Feb. 2018 The researchers also uncovered discrepancies in the way states code and report overdose deaths. Jamie Ducharme, Time, "Researchers May Have Underestimated the Number of Opioid Overdose Deaths," 27 June 2018 Unable to code the physics in full, coders had to simplify and omit. Natalie Wolchover, WIRED, "The Universe Is Not a Simulation, but We Can Now Simulate It," 16 June 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

17 Feb 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 \

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 \

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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