modal

adjective
mod·​al | \ˈmō-dᵊl \

Definition of modal 

1 : of or relating to modality (see modality sense 2) in logic

2 : containing provisions as to the mode of procedure or the manner of taking effect used of a contract or legacy

3 : of or relating to a musical mode (see mode entry 1 sense 1)

4 : of or relating to structure as opposed to substance

5 : of, relating to, or constituting a grammatical form or category characteristically indicating predication (see predication sense 2) of an action or state in some manner other than as a simple fact a modal verb

6 : of or relating to a statistical mode (see mode entry 1 sense 7)

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Other Words from modal

modally \ -​dᵊl-​ē \ adverb

Examples of modal in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Tyner’s piano behind Coltrane and his modal solos are percussive and keep the energy level high. Marc Myers, WSJ, "‘Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album’ Review: Sitting in the Studio With Coltrane," 18 June 2018 The modal material is extra soft, while the honeycomb lace on the neckline and legs give this piece a hint of elegance. Maria Cassano, Allure, "Journelle's Semi-Annual Sale Is Offering 50% Off on Bras, Underwear, and More," 14 June 2018 This one is on sale and has the softest modal fabric. Indya Brown, The Cut, "14 Delightful Pajamas for Hot Summer Nights," 24 May 2018 For even more modal variation, HV Charge prioritizes gas engine operation to charge the battery or power the wheels directly. Jim Resnick, Ars Technica, "2018 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid: Put simply, it’s complicated," 19 Apr. 2018 There was some uncertainty, but there was also a delight in two different piano styles in tense but complementary conversation through modal scales, percussive bass notes, incandescent chords, moody blues riffs and titillating trills. Mark Swed, latimes.com, "Terry Riley and Gloria Cheng, a piano odd couple, find the musical connections," 7 Mar. 2018 In music theory terms, this technique is called modal interchange. Derek Hawkins, Washington Post, "Lana Del Rey says Radiohead is suing her for plagiarizing 'Creep'," 8 Jan. 2018 Made from modal jersey, the full-length dress cinches loosely at the waist and has a delicate ruffle. Kavita Daswani, latimes.com, "It's time to step up your loungewear game for the holidays. Here are our top picks," 15 Dec. 2017 Hypnotic, modal music that gathers real force, sonically similar in some ways to desert blues bands such as Tinariwen, but with its own distinct, rugged identity. Dan Deluca, Philly.com, "Dan DeLuca's Mix Picks: Mike Judge's country music cartoon, Philly Music Alliance gala and a song about the Jersey shore," 28 Sep. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'modal.' 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 modal

1569, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for modal

Medieval Latin modalis, from Latin modus

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Statistics for modal

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Time Traveler for modal

The first known use of modal was in 1569

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