[ muhl-tee-mohd-l, muhl-tahy- ]
/ ˌmʌl tiˈmoʊd l, ˌmʌl taɪ- /
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having more than one mode.
Statistics. having more than one modal value: a multimodal distribution.
Transportation. intermodal.
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Origin of multimodal

First recorded in 1900–05; multi- + modal
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does multimodal mean?

Multimodal means having or using a variety of modes or methods to do something.

Multimodal is a general term that can be used in many different contexts. It also has more specific uses in the fields of statistics and transportation.

Example: Ms. Johnson used a multimodal approach to teaching English—she relied on slideshows, movies, and student performances to supplement the textbook.

Where does multimodal come from?

The first records of multimodal come from right around 1900. It is a combination of the prefix multi-, meaning “many,” and modal, which is the adjective form of the word mode, which means “a way of doing something.”

In general, multimodal can be used to describe any process that uses more than one way to do things or achieve goals. However, it is often used in technical and academic contexts, especially when the different approaches within a field are being analyzed. For example, a multimodal approach to teaching is one that uses several different ways to present information to students. The term is often used in the study of communication to describe how we can communicate in several different ways, such as through speech, text, gestures, and images. In transportation, multimodal is used synonymously with intermodal to refer to transport systems that use multiple modes of transportation, such as trucks, trains, and ships. In the context of psychology, multimodal therapy involves different treatments to address different factors.

In statistics, multimodal has a more specific use. It is used to describe a data set that has more than one modal value, meaning the one that occurs most frequently.

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What are some other forms related to multimodal?

  • multimodality (noun)

What are some synonyms for multimodal?

What are some words that share a root or word element with multimodal

What are some words that often get used in discussing multimodal?

How is multimodal used in real life?

Multimodal is an extremely versatile word used to describe processes or activities that are accomplished through a variety of methods. It is applied to a variety of real-life situations.


Try using multimodal!

Which of the following disciplines has the potential to be multimodal?

A. storytelling
B. healthcare
C. teaching
D. all of the above

How to use multimodal in a sentence