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

Simple re-patterning can shift all of this while providing better results through exercise & other movement modalities. Redbook, "This Bizarre Breathing Technique Can Literally Make Pregnant Women's Baby Bumps Disappear," 19 May 2017 Peloton clearly made a savvy decision launching at-home connected spinning, a modality that has had a bigger boom than other types of fitness classes. Cheryl Wischhover, Vox, "Peloton’s $2,000 stationary bike has totally disrupted working out at home," 14 Nov. 2018 The charity project comes on the heels of Lime’s other major initiative to improve access to its bikes and scooters — and also to tamp down its reputation as the modality of choice for North Face-vest-wearing tech bros. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, "Scooter companies are trying to rehabilitate their reputations as cities crack down," 23 Aug. 2018 This question is complicated because it is individually defined and depends on the therapy modality. SELF, "How Can You Tell if Therapy Is Actually Working?," 11 Dec. 2018 Some have long histories as healing modalities over multiple cultures and thousands of years — which gives them a veneer of legitimacy. Cheryl Wischhover, Vox, "Adaptogenic dusts, oils, and pills have a veneer of science, but there’s not much evidence to back them up.," 2 Nov. 2018 For instance, where simple barriers fail, more complex deterrents that engage multiple sensory modalities—such as a lock that also incorporates a frightening noise—may suffice. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian, "How Humans Created the Ultimate Superpests," 9 July 2018 So instead of fighting these new modalities, the ride-hailing giants bought them out. Aarian Marshall, WIRED, "Lyft’s Big Bike Share Buy Is About Ruling the Streets," 2 July 2018 This is not unlike many other self-improvement modalities — on the surface, this sounds a lot like run-of-the-mill group therapy. Amelia Harnish,, ""At This Point We Are In Despair": One Woman's Quest To Bring Her Brother Home From NXIVM," 29 June 2018

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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Last Updated

1 May 2019

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The first known use of modality was in 1545

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on modality

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with modality

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

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