AskDefine | Define modality

Dictionary Definition



1 a classification of propositions on the basis of whether they claim necessity or possibility or impossibility [syn: mode]
2 verb inflections that express how the action or state is conceived by the speaker [syn: mood, mode]
3 a particular sense [syn: sense modality, sensory system]
4 a method of therapy that involves physical or electrical therapeutic treatment

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. the state of being modal
  2. the classification of propositions on the basis on whether they claim possibility, impossibility, contingency or necessity; mode
  3. the inflection of a verb that shows how its action is conceived by the speaker; mood
  4. any method of therapy that involves therapeutic treatment
  5. any of the senses (such as sight or taste)
  6. a particular way in which the information is to be encoded for presentation to humans, i.e. to the type of sign and to the status of reality ascribed to or claimed by a sign, text or genre
  7. the organization and structure of the church, as distinct from sodality or parachurch organizations
  8. the subject concerning certain diatonic scales known as musical modes
  9. a concept in Anthony Giddens structuration theory


state of being modal
classification of propositions; mode

Extensive Definition

Modality can refer to:
  • Modality (semiotics), the types of sign and the extent to which any set of signs is real or unreal.
  • Linguistic modality, the subject concerning so-called modal auxiliary verbs like can, must, and should, that are customarily used to modify the meaning of other verbs, to express possibility (and impossibility, necessity, contingency, etc.), permissibility (and obligation, proscription, etc.), probability (and improbability, etc.). A distinction can be made with grammatical mood.
Science and Technology:
Other uses:

See also

modality in German: Modalität
modality in French: Modalité
modality in Dutch: Modaliteit
modality in Russian: Модальность
modality in Finnish: Modaliteetti
modality in Swedish: Modalitet
modality in Ukrainian: Модальність

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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