[moj-uh-luh s]
noun, plural mod·u·li [moj-uh-ahy] /ˈmɒdʒ ə aɪ/.
  1. Physics. a coefficient pertaining to a physical property.
  2. Mathematics.
    1. that number by which the logarithms in one system are multiplied to yield the logarithms in another.
    2. a quantity by which two given quantities can be divided to yield the same remainders.
    3. absolute value.

Origin of modulus

1555–65; < Latin: a unit of measure; see mode1, -ule Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Historical Examples of modulus

British Dictionary definitions for modulus


noun plural -li (-ˌlaɪ)
  1. physics a coefficient expressing a specified property of a specified substanceSee bulk modulus, modulus of rigidity, Young's modulus
  2. maths the absolute value of a complex numberSee absolute value
  3. maths the number by which a logarithm to one base is multiplied to give the corresponding logarithm to another base
  4. maths an integer that can be divided exactly into the difference between two other integers7 is a modulus of 25 and 11 See also congruence (def. 2)

Word Origin for modulus

C16: from Latin, diminutive of modus measure
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

modulus in Science


Plural moduli (mŏjə-lī′)
  1. A number by which two given numbers can be divided and produce the same remainder.
  2. The numerical length of the vector that represents a complex number. For a complex number a + bi, the modulus is the square root of (a2 + b2).
  3. The number by which a logarithm to one base must be multiplied to obtain the corresponding logarithm to another base.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.