modal

[mohd-l]
|

adjective

noun


Origin of modal

From the Medieval Latin word modālis, dating back to 1560–70. See mode1, -al1
Related formsmod·al·ly, adverbnon·mod·al, adjectivenon·mod·al·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for modal

Historical Examples of modal



British Dictionary definitions for modal

modal

adjective

of, relating to, or characteristic of mode or manner
grammar (of a verb form or auxiliary verb) expressing a distinction of mood, such as that between possibility and actuality. The modal auxiliaries in English include can, could, may, must, need, ought, shall, should, will, and would
philosophy logic
  1. qualifying or expressing a qualification of the truth of some statement, for example, as necessary or contingent
  2. relating to analogous qualifications such as that of rules as obligatory or permissive
metaphysics of or relating to the form of a thing as opposed to its attributes, substance, etc
music of or relating to a mode
of or relating to a statistical mode
Derived Formsmodally, adverb
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

Word Origin and History for modal
adj.

1560s, term in logic, from Middle French modal and directly from Medieval Latin modalis "of or pertaining to a mode," from Latin modus "measure, manner, mode" (see mode (n.1)). Musical sense is from 1590s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper