1

mode

noun \ ˈmōd \

Definition of mode

1 a :an arrangement of the eight diatonic notes or tones of an octave according to one of several fixed schemes of their intervals (see interval 2b)
b :a rhythmical (see rhythm 2) scheme (as in 13th and 14th century music)
2 :2mood 2
  • the indicative mode
  • the subjunctive mode
3
[Late Latin modus, from Latin]
a :2mood 1
b :the modal (see modality 2) form of the assertion or denial of a logical proposition
4 a :a particular form or variety of something
  • flying and other modes of transport
  • new modes of communication
b :a form or manner of expression :style
  • a different mode of living
5 :a possible, customary, or preferred way of doing something
  • explained in the usual solemn mode
  • Let's get into work mode.
  • new modes of experimentation had to be developed
  • —J. B. Conant
6 a :a manifestation (see manifestation 1), form, or arrangement of being; specifically :a particular form or manifestation of an underlying substance
b :a particular functioning arrangement or condition :status
  • a computer operating in parallel mode
7 a :the most frequent value of a set of data
b :a value of a random variable for which a function of probabilities (see probability 3) defined on it achieves a relative maximum
8 :any of various stationary vibration patterns of which an elastic body or oscillatory system is capable
  • the vibration mode of an airplane propeller blade
  • the vibrational modes of a molecule

Origin and Etymology of mode

Middle English moede, from Latin modus measure, manner, musical mode — more at mete

Synonym Discussion of mode

method, mode, manner, way, fashion, system mean the means taken or procedure followed in achieving an end. method implies an orderly logical arrangement usually in steps.
    • effective teaching methods
mode implies an order or course followed by custom, tradition, or personal preference.
    • the preferred mode of transportation
manner is close to mode but may imply a procedure or method that is individual or distinctive.
    • an odd manner of conducting
way is very general and may be used for any of the preceding words.
    • has her own way of doing things
fashion may suggest a peculiar or characteristic way of doing something.
    • rushing about in his typical fashion
system suggests a fully developed or carefully formulated method often emphasizing rational orderliness.
    • a filing system

2

mode

noun

Definition of mode

:a prevailing fashion or style (as of dress or behavior)
  • the newest mode in dresses

Origin and Etymology of mode

French, from Latin modus

Synonym Discussion of mode

fashion, style, mode, vogue, fad, rage, craze mean the usage accepted by those who want to be up-to-date. fashion is the most general term and applies to any way of dressing, behaving, writing, or performing that is favored at any one time or place.
    • the current fashion
style often implies a distinctive fashion adopted by people of taste.
    • a media baron used to traveling in style
mode suggests the fashion of the moment among those anxious to appear elegant and sophisticated.
    • slim bodies are the mode at this resort
vogue stresses the wide acceptance of a fashion.
    • short skirts are back in vogue
fad suggests caprice in taking up or in dropping a fashion.
    • last year's fad is over
rage and craze stress intense enthusiasm in adopting a fad.
    • Cajun food was the rage nearly everywhere for a time
    • crossword puzzles once seemed just a passing craze but have lasted

MODE Defined for Kids

1

mode

noun \ ˈmōd \

Definition of mode for Students

1 :a particular form or variety of something
  • a mode of teaching
2 :a way of doing something
  • a mode of travel
3 :the most frequent value in a set of values

2

mode

noun

Definition of mode for Students

:a popular fashion or style


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up mode? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

marked by intense feeling

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!