Share this entry

module Syllabification: mod·ule
Pronunciation: /ˈmäjo͞ol/

Definition of module in English:


1Each of a set of standardized parts or independent units that can be used to construct a more complex structure, such as an item of furniture or a building.
Example sentences
  • Standard lamp modules and appliance modules have full access to house current since they are plugged directly into a power outlet.
  • In those plants, assembly areas will have the same footprint containing standardized modules built from a select group of common components.
  • The 1,750 sq ft bungalow is made up of three buildings connected by modules that act as light wells and avoid claustrophobic corridors.
1.1 [usually with adjective] An independent self-contained unit of a spacecraft.
Example sentences
  • The Maxus - 4 rocket launched on 29 April carried seven experiments stacked in five self-contained modules.
  • Mir, their last, was modular and had space for up to six cosmonauts and six ports for docking spacecraft or other modules.
  • Apart from the Skylark launch vehicle, MASER 10 comprised four experiment modules, a service module and a recovery system.
1.2 Computing Any of a number of distinct but interrelated units from which a program may be built up or into which a complex activity may be analyzed.
Example sentences
  • Virtual software machine running multiple program modules in a single address space of a target computer
  • You don't have time to wait for a C programmer to develop a custom database module for your web page - you need a solution that works today.
  • Your computer or a special module connected to your network sends your request over the internet to the computer or telephone exchange you are attempting to contact.


Late 16th century (in the senses 'allotted scale' and 'plan, model'): from French, or from Latin modulus (see modulus). Current senses date from the 1950s.

  • mould from Middle English:

    The root of mould ‘a hollow container used to give shape to hot material when it cools’ is Latin modulus, source of model (late 16th century) and module (late 16th century). The mould that is a furry growth of fungi is unconnected, and came from a Scandinavian word into late Middle English. The origins of the expression to break the mould, ‘to change to a markedly different way of doing things’, comes from the manufacture of objects cast in moulds. Destroying a mould afterwards ensured that no further copies could be made. The phrase dates from the 1560s and probably comes from a translation of the Italian epic poem Orlando Furioso, written by Ludovico Ariosto in 1532: ‘Nature made him and then broke the mould.’ Mould in the sense ‘earth’ as in leaf mould is a Germanic word found in Old English ( see mole).

Words that rhyme with module


Definition of module in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day exemplum
Pronunciation: iɡˈzempləm
an example or model...