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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 modality
Historical Examples
  • But if modality, taken in itself, be not a reality, why then make of it a category?

    Plotinos: Complete Works, v. 3 Plotinos (Plotinus)
  • Third rank of existence should not be occupied by modality, vi.

    Plotinos: Complete Works, v. 4 Plotinos (Plotinus)
  • modality, should not occupy even third rank of existence, vi.

    Plotinos: Complete Works, v. 4 Plotinos (Plotinus)
  • Rank third, of existence, should not be occupied by modality, vi.

    Plotinos: Complete Works, v. 4 Plotinos (Plotinus)
  • Rimbaud, when right, is so because he cannot be bothered to exist in any other modality.

    Instigations Ezra Pound
  • An "idea" has little value apart from the modality of the mind which receives it.

    Instigations Ezra Pound
  • Baumeister and Thomasius also recognise four forms of modality.

  • Very well, he could use that modality to get out from under.

    The Dictator Milton Lesser
  • As to modality, propositions are divided into Pure and Modal.

    Logic Carveth Read
  • In what manner this gigantic process of social expropriation will be achieved, and under what modality, eludes all surmise.

    Woman under socialism August Bebel
British Dictionary definitions for modality


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 modality

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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modality 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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