a. A manner, way, or method of doing something, experiencing something, or acting: modern modes of travel; modes of consciousness; modes of affection. See Synonyms at method.
b. A particular form or kind: The building has multiple modes of egress.
c. A given condition of functioning; a status or operation: The spacecraft was in its recovery mode.
2. The current or customary fashion or style: a hat in the latest mode.
a. Any of certain fixed arrangements of the diatonic tones of an octave, as the major and minor scales of Western music.
b. A patterned arrangement, as the one characteristic of the music of classical Greece or the medieval Christian Church.
4. Philosophy The particular appearance, form, or manner in which an underlying substance, or a permanent aspect or attribute of it, is manifested.
a. See modality.
b. The arrangement or order of the propositions in a syllogism according to both quality and quantity.
6. Statistics The value or item occurring most frequently in a series of observations or statistical data.
7. Mathematics The number or range of numbers in a set that occurs the most frequently.
8. Geology The mineral composition of an igneous rock expressed in terms of percentage of the total sample weight or volume.
9. Physics Any of numerous patterns of wave motion or vibration.
10. Grammar Mood.
[Middle English, tune, from Latin modus, manner, tune. Sense 2, French, from Old French, fashion, manner, from Latin modus; see med- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 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.