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 There is also a unique code so consumers can validate the product. Washington Post, "Only on AP: Popular pot vape gets makeover to counter fakes," 17 Sep. 2019 Following Tuesday’s vote, which extends the program through the end of 2020 and incorporates it into Laguna’s draft Downtown Specific Plan, the city also will begin issuing notices of code violations after an initial warning. Lilly Nguyen, Daily Pilot, "Laguna council approves continuation of interim permit program for outdoor signage," 13 Sep. 2019 In reaction to what went on in last year’s Williams-Osaka final, the USTA will post code violations — racket abuse, say, or unsportsmanlike conduct — on scoreboards. Howard Fendrich, baltimoresun.com, "US Open 2019: What you need to know, from Serena Williams to the Big 3," 25 Aug. 2019 Further muddling the investigation is that hospitals don't have a good way of tracking cases, because there is no specific diagnostic code for either vaping or the emerging disease. Erika Edwards, NBC News, "Cases of mysterious vaping-related illnesses rise to at least 127," 20 Aug. 2019 Best yet, there's no promo code or special web page needed to get in on the deal. Meredith Carey, Condé Nast Traveler, "Amtrak Sale: 50 Percent Off All September Fares," 16 Aug. 2019 As Trysta Krick details, Lamar Jackson may be a Madden cheat code. Chris Bumbaca, USA TODAY, "Cleveland Browns' Odell Beckham Jr. on trade: Giants 'thought they'd send me here to die'," 16 Aug. 2019 But supervisors quickly began using the technology to catch agents for minor infringements such as dress-code violations or use of their personal cell phones during breaks. Rose Eveleth, Scientific American, "Your Employer May Be Spying on You—and Wasting Its Time," 16 Aug. 2019 He was also given multiple code violations for obscenities and racket-smashing during the 2014 U.S. Open. Ryan Gaydos, Fox News, "Australian tennis star Nick Kyrgios follows up tournament outburst with another one," 15 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Neighbors called police at 9:19 p.m., sent an email to code enforcement at 9:35 p.m. and called police again at 10:25 p.m. An officer responded to the complaints at 10:48 p.m. and was en route when the shooting was reported. CBS News, "Fifth person dead after Halloween party shooting at Airbnb rental," 2 Nov. 2019 Landlords who accept housing vouchers have to bring their homes up to code and pay for inspections. Wilborn P. Nobles Iii, baltimoresun.com, "Opponents organizing to stop Baltimore County from expanding low-income rental choices," 21 Oct. 2019 Students get grant to teach coding to kids Carlsbad High students Hannah Hong and Shayda Moezzi recently helped childhood cancer patients learn how to code and program robots during sessions at the Ronald McDonald House in San Diego. Laura Groch, San Diego Union-Tribune, "North County School News, Oct. 3," 3 Oct. 2019 The kit combines a motion tracking wand with Kano’s software and the trappings of the Harry Potter world to make learning to code a little more magical. Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge, "Kano tries to make learning code magical with its new Harry Potter Coding kit," 24 July 2018 Many conducted a surprise inspection a month ago, which led to code compliance issues the county said can be corrected. J. Harry Jones, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Horse rescue owner defends euthanasia methods," 10 Mar. 2018 All eight applicants already have college degrees and extensive computer experience, so the hiring program isn’t teaching them how to code. Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Carlsbad firm tests hiring program for workers with autism," 19 Aug. 2019 Estimates for bringing the 1925 building up to code ranged from $140,000 for ADA work to $500,000 to $600,000 for a full remodeling, building owner Louis Wang told the Mercury News in February. Jessica Yadegaran, The Mercury News, "After 94 years, Wing’s restaurant sign taken down in San Jose," 28 Aug. 2019 The state code enshrining Forrest Day says the governor must also proclaim Robert E. Lee Day on Jan. 19 and Confederate Decoration Day on June 3, among other dates. Hannah Knowles, Washington Post, "Ted Cruz criticizes Tenn. governor for day honoring Confederate general and KKK leader," 13 July 2019

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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Statistics for code

Last Updated

27 Oct 2019

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
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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More from Merriam-Webster on code

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for code

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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