mod·​al | \ ˈmō-dᵊl How to pronounce modal (audio) \

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 \ ˈmō-​dᵊl-​ē How to pronounce modally (audio) \ adverb

Examples of modal in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Coltrane’s magnum opus, the quartet drives its modal approach to a devotional extreme. Giovanni Russonello, New York Times, "McCoy Tyner’s Essential Recordings: Listen to 11 Tracks," 9 Mar. 2020 This impressive, brain-bending feat is called cross-modal sensory transfer, or the ability to recognize something through one sense, like touch, after experiencing it only through another, like sight. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, "Like Humans, Bumblebees May Create Mental Images in Their Brains," 21 Feb. 2020 The modal inflections of the Persichetti and Byrd, tricky for modern ears, didn’t find every singer absolutely secure on a pitch here and there. Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, "Elegant program, stirring singing from Incarnatus," 25 Jan. 2020 Meklit Meklit, a songwriter who was born in Ethiopia but grew up in the United States, sang in English but reached back to modal Ethiopian funk for her songs. Jon Pareles, New York Times, "At Globalfest, Rowdy Sounds From Around the World," 13 Jan. 2020 The researchers then used algorithms, according to the study, to get information on three aspects of the trees: the wood's internal friction, the hardness of the tree at impact point and the modal response of the tree to the impact. Christopher Carbone, Fox News, "Chimps create 'rock music' by throwing stones at trees, study reveals," 21 Dec. 2019 At one point, Philippe likens the concept to cymatics, in which plates or membranes vibrate in resonance with sound waves to produce patterns on their surface that reflect the substrate's modal vibrations. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Alien’s origin story chestbursts anew in stirring new documentary," 11 Oct. 2019 Helsinki The Lowdown: With the ambitious goal of being the world’s best metropolis of sustainable transport, the Finnish capital, much like Paris, had set its sights set on a bicycle modal share target of 15 percent by 2020. Copenhagenize Design Co., WIRED, "The 20 Most Bike-Friendly Cities on the Planet, Ranked," 27 June 2019 Its multi-modal approach included using Alaska’s new system for sharing drug prescription information across hospitals and working side-by-side with patients to reframe the conversation around opioids. Anchorage Daily News, "A pain clinic without opioids? Believe it.," 10 Sep. 2019

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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Time Traveler for modal

Time Traveler

The first known use of modal was in 1569

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Statistics for modal

Cite this Entry

“Modal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Aug. 2020.

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