[ mohd-l ]
/ ˈmoʊd l /



Origin of modal

From the Medieval Latin word modālis, dating back to 1560–70. See mode1, -al1

Related forms

mod·al·ly, adverbnon·mod·al, adjectivenon·mod·al·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for modally

  • It does so; but it governs the accusative case not objectively but modally.

    The English Language|Robert Gordon Latham

British Dictionary definitions for modally


/ (ˈməʊdəl) /


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 Forms

modally, 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