1. A standardized, often interchangeable component of a system or construction that is designed for easy assembly or flexible use: a sofa consisting of two end modules.
2. Architecture A length used as a unit of measurement or as a standard for determining the proportions of a building.
3. Electronics A self-contained assembly of electronic components and circuitry, such as a stage in a computer, that is installed as a unit.
4. Computers A portion of a program that carries out a specific function and may be used alone or combined with other modules of the same program.
5. A self-contained unit of a spacecraft that performs a specific task or class of tasks in support of the major function of the craft.
6. A unit of education or instruction with a relatively low student-to-teacher ratio, in which a single topic or a small section of a broad topic is studied for a given period of time.
7. Mathematics An algebraic system that resembles a vector space, except that the set of scalars forms a ring and not necessarily a field.
8. Biology A unit of modular growth, such as a coral polyp.
9. Archaic A standard or unit of measurement.
[Latin modulus, diminutive of modus, measure; see med- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. 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.