1. Of, relating to, or characteristic of a mode.
2. Grammar Of, relating to, or expressing the mood of a verb.
3. Music Of, relating to, characteristic of, or composed in any of the modes typical of medieval church music.
4. Philosophy Of or relating to mode without referring to substance.
5. Logic Expressing or characterized by modality.
6. Statistics Of or relating to a statistical mode or modes.
See modal auxiliary.
[Medieval Latin modālis, from Latin modus, measure; see med- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.