noun (1)
\ ˈmōd How to pronounce mode (audio) \

Definition of mode

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : an arrangement of the eight diatonic notes or tones of an octave according to one of several fixed schemes of their intervals (see interval sense 2)
b : a rhythmical (see rhythm sense 2) scheme (as in 13th and 14th century music)
2 : mood entry 2 sense 2 the indicative mode the subjunctive mode
3 [Late Latin modus, from Latin]
b : the modal (see modality sense 2) form of the assertion or denial of a logical proposition
4a : 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
6a : a manifestation (see manifestation sense 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 sleep mode a device that changes display colors in night mode to help reduce eyestrain
7a : the most frequent value of a set of data
b : a value of a random variable for which a function of probabilities (see probability sense 1) 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


noun (2)

Definition of mode (Entry 2 of 2)

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

Choose the Right Synonym for mode

Noun (1)

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

Noun (2)

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

First Known Use of mode

Noun (1)

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Noun (2)

1642, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for mode

Noun (1)

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

Noun (2)

French, from Latin modus

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Time Traveler for mode

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The first known use of mode was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Mode.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for mode


\ ˈmōd How to pronounce mode (audio) \

Kids Definition of mode

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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



Kids Definition of mode (Entry 2 of 2)

: a popular fashion or style


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