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[moh-dal-i-tee] /moʊˈdæl ɪ ti/
noun, plural modalities.
the quality or state of being modal.
an attribute or circumstance that denotes mode or manner.
Also called mode. Logic. the classification of propositions according to whether they are contingently true or false, possible, impossible, or necessary.
Medicine/Medical. the application of a therapeutic agent, usually a physical therapeutic agent.
one of the primary forms of sensation, as vision or touch.
Origin of modality
From the Medieval Latin word modālitās, dating back to 1610-20. See modal, -ity
Related forms
multimodality, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for modalities
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • To sum up, the modalities of matter are supplied by the feminine germ.

    Reincarnation Th. Pascal
  • It is clear, he says, that the modalities of the action of the blind are explained by spatial representations.

  • The personal consciousness is only one of the modalities of the general consciousness.

  • But this division into three modalities or into three states is far from giving the number of the manifestations of being.

  • In view of the many differences obtaining between them, how otherwise could modalities form a category?

    Plotinos: Complete Works, v. 3 Plotinos (Plotinus)
British Dictionary definitions for modalities


noun (pl) -ties
the condition of being modal
a quality, attribute, or circumstance that denotes mode, mood, or manner
(logic) the property of a statement of being classified under one of the concepts studied by modal logic, esp necessity or possibility
any physical or electrical therapeutic method or agency
any of the five senses
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for modalities



1610s, from Old French modalité or directly from Medieval Latin modalitatem (nominative modalitas) "a being modal," from modalis (see modal). Related: Modalities.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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modalities in Medicine

modality mo·dal·i·ty (mō-dāl'ĭ-tē)

  1. A therapeutic method or agent, such as surgery, chemotherapy, or electrotherapy, that involves the physical treatment of a disorder.

  2. Any of the various types of sensation, such as vision or hearing.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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