mo·​dal·​i·​ty | \ mō-ˈda-lə-tē How to pronounce modality (audio) \
plural modalities

Definition of modality

1a : the quality or state of being modal
b : a modal quality or attribute : form
2 : the classification of logical propositions (see proposition sense 1) according to their asserting or denying the possibility, impossibility, contingency, or necessity of their content
3 : one of the main avenues of sensation (such as vision)
4 : a usually physical therapeutic agency

Examples of modality in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web If the split-day model of Prenda doesn’t work, another potential model would have entire days devoted to one learning modality or another. Mike Mcshane, Forbes, "How To Use Educational Technology Humanely Post-Pandemic," 6 May 2021 The strategic use of style as a modality of resistance is one of the key elements that attracted Bedford to producing her collection of photos. Nili Blanck, Smithsonian Magazine, "Inside L.A.’s Lowrider Car Clubs," 14 Aug. 2015 Another modality that can help individuals process financial trauma is Internal Family Systems (IFS). Michelle Polizzi,, "Child Poverty Causes Long-Lasting Financial Trauma—But Can Be Overcome," 29 Apr. 2021 Online learning in all its current manifestations — flipped, hybrid, hyflex, live video — has finally earned its place as an important modality of higher education: a mainstay, not a stopgap. Ann Kirschner, Forbes, "Will Fall 2021 On Campus Look A Lot Like Fall 2019?," 21 Apr. 2021 Using mRNA to make vaccines may be a relatively new technology, but the idea of harnessing this genetic modality has existed for the last 30 years, first pioneered by Katalin Kariko at the University of Pennsylvania. Miriam Fauzia, USA TODAY, "Fact check: COVID-19 vaccines won't cause a zombie apocalypse," 16 Apr. 2021 But this is hardly a replicable treatment modality. Washington Post, "Hunter Biden’s singular memoir of grief and addiction," 31 Mar. 2021 Programs will vary in modality from in-person, hybrid and virtual learning. Jacob Calvin Meyer,, "Howard County plans to double enrollment in summer school this year to combat ‘COVID loss’," 12 Mar. 2021 Hawthorne is among a new generation of healers determined to deliver this modality to Black people who need it. Julissa James, Los Angeles Times, "Why are so many turning to Black herbalists? Their remedies are tailor-made for 2020," 4 Dec. 2020

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

1545, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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The first known use of modality was in 1545

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Last Updated

15 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Modality.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for modality


mo·​dal·​i·​ty | \ mō-ˈdal-ət-ē How to pronounce modality (audio) \
plural modalities

Medical Definition of modality

1 : one of the main avenues of sensation (as vision)
2a : a usually physical therapeutic agency
b : an apparatus for applying a modality

More from Merriam-Webster on modality

Britannica English: Translation of modality for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about modality

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