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

The couple has actually been capitalizing on the incident, offering a burglar2018 promo code this month. Ashley May, USA TODAY, "Robber breaks into escape room. Then, calls 911 because he can't get out," 13 July 2018 Under the promotion, if the Marlins scored five or more runs in a game, Papa John’s offered customers a promo code to get 50 percent off a pizza the next day. Howard Cohen, miamiherald, "What do the Miami Marlins think of Papa John’s founder’s apology? You’re out!," 12 July 2018 If the Royals score five runs in a game, fans can enter a promotional code the following day on the Papa John’s website and get 50 percent off the price of a regular menu pizza. Pete Grathoff, kansascity, "Royals have suspended their Papa John’s promotional deal," 12 July 2018 For several decades in the American film industry during the 20th century, a production code made sure that the bad guys couldn’t win and that bad things couldn’t be shown. Washington Post, "A Thai cave, an extraordinary tale and a captivated world," 12 July 2018 His sales skyrocket and soon he's promoted to Power Caller, the title given to a mysterious group of people who work upstairs (courtesy of a golden elevator that has a security code about 100 digits long). Bill Goodykoontz, azcentral, "Why you need to see surreal 'Sorry to Bother You'," 12 July 2018 Fractured relationship The graphic images of McDonald’s shooting reinforced for many a long-standing history of excessive force by Chicago police as well as a code of silence that protects wrongdoing. Annie Sweeney, chicagotribune.com, "Activist plans meetings for community to prepare for verdict in Laquan McDonald's killing by police," 9 July 2018 Led by Morgan Freeman's Sloan, The Fraternity's targets are determined by The Loom of Fate, in which names are derived from a secret code embedded in the fabric the loom produces. Tom Philip, GQ, "Wanted Might Be the Ultimate Action Movie," 4 July 2018 Customers check in by scanning a 2D code from the Amazon Go app upon entry to the store. Glenn Fleishman, Fortune, "Amazon Will Supersize Its Second Grab-and-Go Grocery in Seattle," 3 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 Supermodel turned mentor, entrepreneur, and philanthropist Karlie Kloss founded Kode With Klossy in 2015, a nonprofit with the mission to teach girls how to code. The Editors, Town & Country, "Karlie Kloss on How She Created Kode With Klossy," 18 June 2018 One of the most challenging tasks is to code instincts flexibly, so that AIs can cope with a chaotic world that does not always follow the rules. Matthew Hutson, Science | AAAS, "How researchers are teaching AI to learn like a child," 24 May 2018 Now, the 59-year-old doll is taking on yet another role—teaching girls to code. Michal Lev-ram, Fortune, "Dolls Who Code: Barbie-Branded Coding Lessons Start This Summer," 20 Feb. 2018 The Harris County Public Library is one of 28 library systems awarded a $23,000 grant from the American Library Association and Google to teach children to code. Mayra Cruz, Houston Chronicle, "Tomball among libraries participating in coding program for kids," 30 Jan. 2018 General applicants must have the resources to renovate buildings to code. Otis R. Taylor Jr., San Francisco Chronicle, "For Oakland’s equity pot firms, finding space to grow is slow," 11 June 2018 So Raceya is drivable and changeable as a fun car out of the box, but includes the ability for older kids who are getting into programming to code new features into the ride. Andrew Moseman, Popular Mechanics, "Start Your Engines For the Totally Customizable RC Car," 5 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

Noun

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

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Learn More about code

Dictionary Entries near code

codding

Coddington lens

coddle

code

codebook

codec

code clerk

Phrases Related to code

code of ethics

color coded

dialling code

Statistics for code

Last Updated

13 Oct 2018

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

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Comments on code

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