Definition of mode in English:


Line breaks: mode
Pronunciation: /məʊd


  • 1A way or manner in which something occurs or is experienced, expressed, or done: his preferred mode of travel was a kayak
    More example sentences
    • He looked at the expeditions' objectives, countries of origin, leaders' experience, funding and modes of travel.
    • Our results show that these four translation proteins have experienced different modes of evolution.
    • When did we no longer appreciate that to dignify certain modes of behavior, manners, and ways of being with artistic representation was implicitly to glorify and promote them?
  • 1.1An option allowing a change in the method of operation of a device, especially a camera: a camcorder in automatic mode
    More example sentences
    • Passive mode locking allows the device to produce near transform-limited pulses and to be compact and simple.
    • While the temptation may be there to force the camera into an editorial mode, they allow the characters to carry the story.
    • The best part of the surprise was that not only had I taken these photographs on my own, but I also had taken them with the camera in manual mode.
    function, position, operation, role, capacity
  • 1.2 Computing A way of operating or using a system: some computers provide several so-called processor modes
    More example sentences
    • Major modes redefine how keystrokes operate, usually the Tab and Delete keys.
    • Software interrupts are interrupts produced by a program and processed in kernel mode by the operating system.
    • In addition to the control, the web pages display information about network settings, operating mode and system status.
  • 1.3 Physics Any of the distinct kinds or patterns of vibration of an oscillating system.
    More example sentences
    • The physical scalar fields that oscillate as normal modes about the potential minimum are the massless angular mode and the massive radial mode.
    • Here particles such as electrons are seen as vibration modes on strings.
    • But when they perturbed the rotating liquid with a pencil, they found that the circulation pattern could flip between distinct modes.
  • 1.4 Logic The character of a modal proposition (whether necessary, contingent, possible, or impossible).
  • 1.5 Logic & Grammar another term for mood2.
  • 2A fashion or style in clothes, art, literature, etc.: in the Seventies the mode for active wear took hold
    More example sentences
    • Longer length gloves, covered with cuff bracelets in the mode of Breakfast at Tiffany style will have a place worn with three quarter or elbow length sleeves.
    • It is possible to argue that York, like Aachen, was a city with imperial pretensions, with modern new buildings in the classical mode, and fine objects decorated in fashionable new styles.
    • Seeking to transfer the realist mode of literature to German soil, he rejected the naturalism associated with figures such as Gerhard Hauptmann.
    fashion, vogue, current/latest style, style, look, trend, latest thing, latest taste; craze, rage, fad, general tendency, convention, custom, practice; French dernier cri
  • 3 Statistics The value that occurs most frequently in a given set of data.
    More example sentences
    • Figure 4 shows mean and standard error of the mode, or most common, vessel length for the series of apple rootstock and scion varieties.
    • Various measures of central tendency and dispersion were calculated, including the mean, median, mode, standard deviation, and skew.
    • Genotype and allele frequencies were calculated from the mean of the 100 nearest values to the mode of the posterior distribution.
  • 4 Music A set of musical notes forming a scale and from which melodies and harmonies are constructed.
    More example sentences
    • His musical language is spare in style, its melodies and harmonies based on old church modes and the pentatonic scales of Finnish folk-music.
    • That relation appears in countless images of Krishna playing the flute to cowherds, in the narratives that accompany Indian modes, or ragas, and iconography used to depict divine love.
    • The tonality of the piece and the printed signature result from the scale or mode the composer has used during composition.
  • The modes of plainsong and later Western music (including the usual major and minor scales) correspond to the diatonic scales played on the white notes of a piano. They are named arbitrarily after ancient Greek modes: Ionian (or major), Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Aeolian, and Locrian


late Middle English (in the musical and grammatical senses): from Latin modus 'measure', from an Indo-European root shared by mete1; compare with mood2.

More definitions of mode

Definition of mode in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day kerf
Pronunciation: kəːf
a slit made by cutting with a saw