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 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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Vaccine passports in use or development in other countries are typically a cellphone app with a code that verifies whether someone has been vaccinated or recently tested negative for COVID-19. Elinor Aspegren, USA TODAY, "US to share its stock of AstraZeneca vaccines; bills that would ban vaccine passports circulate state legislatures: Live COVID-19 updates," 27 Apr. 2021 Windows users can use the free PDFEncrypt (pdfencrypt.net), which is an open source utility for those that like to tinker with code. Ken Colburn, The Arizona Republic, "3 ways to protect your information when sending an email," 26 Apr. 2021 There’s a free U.S. shipping promo for a limited time on all purchases over $24 with the code 24SHIP. Mike Rose, cleveland, "Cleveland Browns official ‘Star Wars,’ Marvel, Mickey Mouse T-shirts: How to buy NFL’s new Disney gear," 23 Apr. 2021 The pass allows labs to securely send test results or vaccination records to customers in the app and then verifies those results meet entry requirements with a QR code. Alison Fox, Travel + Leisure, "A Guide to Vaccine Passport Apps for American Travelers," 23 Apr. 2021 While there's a standard way to include an image on a web page with HTML code, there's no standard way to include a small image in every messaging app and word processor document. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "Behind the scenes of the annual new emoji selections," 23 Apr. 2021 Vaccine passports in use or development in other countries are typically a cellphone app with a code that verifies whether someone has been vaccinated or recently tested negative for COVID-19. Meredith Colias-pete, chicagotribune.com, "Hammond offering 3 extra vacation days if city employees get COVID-19 vaccine," 22 Apr. 2021 The 16 reissued looks were even fitted with a QR code that unlocks runway clips from their heydays and other stories about the pieces. Eliza Huber, refinery29.com, "Michael Kors’ 40th Anniversary Fashion Show Featured Naomi Campbell, Ashley Graham & More," 21 Apr. 2021 The physical works boast realistic brushstroke textures, and each one has been inscribed with a code linking it to a non-fungible token (NFT), or digital file certifying its authenticity. Nora Mcgreevy, Smithsonian Magazine, "Scientists Used A.I. to Recreate a Landscape Hidden Beneath a Picasso Painting," 14 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb What if there were no warnings, and any could code run after a double-click from a user? Ewan Spence, Forbes, "Apple Confirms Urgent Update For Millions Of MacBook Pro Users," 26 Apr. 2021 To be eligible, a person would have to have had at least eight involuntary psychiatric hospitalizations under state Welfare and Institutions code 5150 over 12 months. Gary Warth, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Fatal shooting raises questions of police response to homeless," 22 Apr. 2021 These regions, called introns, are interspersed among the parts of genes that code for the actual protein that is produced. Quanta Magazine, "DNA of Giant ‘Corpse Flower’ Parasite Surprises Biologists," 21 Apr. 2021 Swift Playgrounds is an iPhone and Mac app that teaches developers how to code in Apple’s Swift language in a game-like playground. Chris Smith, BGR, "Apple just announced WWDC 2021," 30 Mar. 2021 And because the dynamics of battle were always shifting, the software would need a programming interface simple enough to let analysts code in new algorithms as needed. Arthur Holland Michel, Wired, "There Are Spying Eyes Everywhere—and Now They Share a Brain," 4 Feb. 2021 At the start of 2020, Ong, then 19, was teaching himself to code from YouTube videos while working part-time at a delivery company. John Kang, Forbes, "Get To Know The Youngest Members Of Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia 2021," 19 Apr. 2021 None was interested in taking on a project that would cost $12 million just to bring the 58,000-square-foot, three-story structure to code. Brian Maffly, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Huntsville monastery has faded away, but preservation prayers have been answered for its farm fields," 15 Apr. 2021 In today’s digital world, knowing how to code is an in-demand skill that employers are looking for in a variety of industries. Popular Science, "Learn the ins and outs of coding with this bundle of eight classes," 1 Mar. 2021

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

4 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Code.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/code. Accessed 9 May. 2021.

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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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Comments on code

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