Definition of code in English:

code

noun

  • 1A system of words, letters, figures, or symbols used to represent others, especially for the purposes of secrecy:

    ‘the Americans cracked their diplomatic code’
    [mass noun] ‘messages written in code’
    • ‘The code is given in figure 1a, and an example conversion is shown in figure 1b.’
    • ‘He is writing letters in code, there would be no reason for that unless he had something to hide.’
    • ‘Cryptography is the enciphering and deciphering of messages in secret code or cipher.’
    • ‘Codes and great historical figures go together like the author of a certain fantastical thriller involving Leonardo da Vinci has shown.’
    • ‘It was in her language, it was just a different code to the written words.’
    • ‘If he gave us accurate predictions of the future as a reward for figuring out the code, we are to believe he expects us not to use it to our advantage?’
    • ‘I often figured out codes long before the characters did, which was annoying.’
    • ‘They were the high-level diplomatic and military codes, the kind of which had never been cracked.’
    • ‘She turned and began again to figure the codes, and another plan to get out of this cellar.’
    • ‘We are still trying to figure out what the codes mean, but we feel we are very close to cracking it.’
    • ‘She played a key role in the recruitment and briefing of agents, and became an expert writer of letters in code.’
    • ‘These include the letters, written in code, which are said to make clear she was in favour of inflicting pain on her enemies.’
    • ‘And if they can break the code on even one message, we're sunk.’
    • ‘He eventually figures out the code when he absent-mindedly reads the general's doodling on a pad.’
    • ‘Some of the neoconservatives in the Pentagon had let it slip to him that they had broken the country's diplomatic codes.’
    • ‘Alongside the body are a series of baffling codes, which Langdon is asked to decipher.’
    • ‘The most well-known example is the breaking of the Japanese diplomatic and military codes before and during WWII.’
    • ‘The spread of mobile telephones and even the use of secret words or codes show that secrecy is essential to close deals or pass on information.’
    • ‘She rubbed her temple, trying to figure out the code before her, when she heard a knock at the door.’
    • ‘After Evan figures out the code to a mysterious paper that Lisa picks up, they head towards mayhem.’
    cipher, secret language, secret writing, set of symbols, key, hieroglyphics
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A phrase or concept used to represent another in an indirect way:
      ‘researching ‘the family’ is usually a code for studying women’
      • ‘PC is essentially an etiquette, a series of codes by which we are supposed to live our lives.’
      • ‘Now, I wondered if he had been sending me code, offering me a front-row seat to some action.’
      • ‘I recognise - more than the words, the codes and silences - the force of all the things unsaid.’
      form of words, set expression, phrase, saying, aphorism
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    2. 1.2 A series of letters, numbers, or symbols assigned to something for the purposes of classification or identification:
      ‘each box had a label with the code SC 90’
      • ‘I picked up the phone, punching in the code to hear our messages.’
      • ‘If approved, the server sends back an activation code.’
      • ‘They never got to the end, though, because they never figured out the last code to open the 7 gates.’
      • ‘We are seeing boats coming in from all over the world with manufacturer identification codes assigned by their country of origin.’
      • ‘The magazine sent us the access code to view its upcoming issue, which I believe will hit the news-stands on Tuesday.’
      • ‘The scientist nimbly punched a short combo and a green light acknowledged a correct code.’
      • ‘They are commonly represented by a single letter code where the index represents the absorption maximum.’
      • ‘Responses were recorded, assigned a letter code, and calculated using frequencies and percentages.’
      • ‘Currently, companies are the smallest army element to be routinely assigned unit identification codes.’
      • ‘The first two letters represent a regional code, the two numbers represent the year and the last three letters are random.’
      • ‘I registered with them today and apparently it takes 7 days for them to send through the activation code.’
      • ‘The next second, I punch in the code to check my messages.’
      • ‘The officer turned to face a terminal, inserting an identicard and entering a series of codes.’
      • ‘Not only had I managed to follow the guard I even figured out what the code was.’
      • ‘The machine beeped in recognition of the code and the numbers flashed momentarily across the screen.’
      • ‘The man rapidly typed a code into a security system and a loud buzzing sound signaled the door's release.’
      • ‘Biometric identifiers are digital codes that cannot be used to reconstitute your image or fingerprint.’
      • ‘Games are activated by sending an access code to the company with an Internet connection.’
      • ‘With a pre-assigned code, you can send documents to a queue, then access them for printing at any time, such as at hotel and airport business centers.’
      • ‘An e-voter would go to one site to register and would then be issued with the pass codes to vote in secrecy at another site.’
    3. 1.3
      ‘I was given the number, but not the code for Guildford’
      short for dialling code
  • 2Computing
    [mass noun] Program instructions:

    ‘assembly code’
    • ‘It allows Delphi and C++ programmers to compile code to either operating system.’
    • ‘He adds that progress on debugging code is a tad slow, pointing to threads you can find on this bulletin board.’
    • ‘The code then downloads spyware programs to surfers' PCs, including one that steals credit card numbers and other forms of financial information.’
    • ‘He encouraged people to look at his program and modify it for their own needs and to send him their code to add to the system.’
    • ‘Early programmers worked in native computer code or machine language.’
    • ‘The answer is 609,000 and this is the number of lines of code in the software for the computers and avionics systems.’
    • ‘Millions of lines of software code are involved, and we haven't even gotten to matters like billing and maintenance.’
    • ‘Indeed if ever there was a case for the open sourcing of program code then this is it.’
    • ‘They could access the underlying code and tweak the program at will.’
    • ‘We had to program in assembly code and call a play routine every vertical blank.’
    • ‘Hackers gain secret control of the computers by sending e-mail viruses and worms or by planting software code on web sites.’
    • ‘This time it was traced to a college student in Romania who had also left obvious clues to his identity in the code.’
    • ‘This is the process that analyzes an HTML document in comparison to standard HTML rules, identifying errors and non-standard codes.’
    • ‘Once infected with the code, the computer sends the same message to other contacts in the instant-messenger list.’
    • ‘Nobody studies the old code, and nobody figures out where it is inefficient and why, and as a consequence programs are often buggy and less stable.’
    • ‘Wait a minute, I'm a software engineer… why not look at their code and try to figure out some of their major weaknesses.’
    • ‘Errors from programming code and malformed html can keep the search engine robots from indexing your web pages.’
    • ‘If the malware inside this ZIP file is opened, the Trojan may attempt to download more malicious code from a pre-programmed list of websites.’
    • ‘The trick, of course, would be inserting the rogue code into the host program in the first place.’
    • ‘Using this drag-and-drop methodology, users can create program code with minimal user input or understanding.’
  • 3A systematic collection of laws or statutes:

    ‘a revision of the penal code’
    • ‘The penal code does not criminalize such conduct, and would be clearly unconstitutional if it did.’
    • ‘The Muslim minority views the code as an indirect abrogation of their cultural freedom.’
    • ‘Under the doctrine of breach of statutory duty some regulatory codes may give rise to civil liability when breached.’
    • ‘With compliance to building codes a given, the real question on many projects is whether it is worthwhile to go beyond code requirements.’
    • ‘You look and see what principles have been established in prior cases rather than just referring to a piece of legislation or a code.’
    • ‘In Warwick, only 75 miles away, these activities are all deemed acceptable farming uses under the zoning code.’
    • ‘He submitted that implementation of planning permissions was not dealt with by the statutory code.’
    • ‘In order to conform to strict fire codes the employer shall have the right to conduct safety inspections and fire drills at the employees home at any time.’
    • ‘Despite the stark words of the various codes regulating ministerial and MSP conduct, the MSPs of various parties will let the First Minister off.’
    • ‘Civil law and commercial law derive from the French, while the penal code is influenced by the British model.’
    • ‘This is itself a judicial interpolation into the statutory code.’
    • ‘The constitution, the penal code, and international and human rights conventions are the only guide to what is acceptable and what is not.’
    • ‘Dissidence, even active, is not war and the normal criminal and civil codes of law still apply.’
    • ‘When he put up a tricolour atop his factory, the police slapped a case on him for violating the flag code.’
    • ‘In many states, there is a criminal code which tabulates criminal offences.’
    • ‘With the growing power of the state, statutory tenure codes were drawn up by centralized governments, reflecting the values and interests of the state.’
    • ‘The difficult concept of ‘adverse possession’ of private property appears in both codes in a nearly identical manner.’
    • ‘Influenced by popular discontent with much of the judiciary, Napoleon attempted to write a statutory code that was essentially judge-proof.’
    • ‘It would be perfectly possible for a criminal code to provide separate crimes of negligence, with lower maximum sentences, at appropriate points in the hierarchy of offences.’
    • ‘Under the old code, mothers were assigned priority in matters of child custody, and fathers were granted visiting rights.’
    law, laws, body of law, rules, regulations, constitution, system, charter, canon, jurisprudence
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    1. 3.1 A set of conventions or moral principles governing behaviour in a particular sphere:
      ‘a strict dress code’
      ‘a stern code of honour’
      • ‘Religion has as much to do with the furnishing of moral and ethical codes as it does with non-natural explanations of the origins of the universe.’
      • ‘I know, the old moral codes weren't painless either.’
      • ‘The nations that survive and prosper and become world powers are the ones that adhere to strict moral codes.’
      • ‘A sly and sophisticated writer, he could always get around the code of silence with indirection.’
      • ‘While today we may disagree with some of the wording or even the concepts in this early code of ethics, few would disagree with its intent or its essence.’
      • ‘The code dictated concepts such as loyalty, honor and virtue.’
      • ‘The rigid social, moral and behavioural codes imposed by the group included severe restrictions on women's freedom of movement, expression and association.’
      • ‘Chandelor wanted his so-called knights to have honor, a moral code of ethics, things with which tradition would expect.’
      • ‘For one thing, it means that we can have different codes of morality, one code for the public self, the other for the private self.’
      • ‘The gentlemen's code also served to limit aggressive behavior after the battle.’
      • ‘I applaud both the concept of a code of ethics by which industry members are bound, and the revamping of the disciplinary process.’
      • ‘They have their own code of morals and honor, just like anyone else.’
      • ‘To be worthy of that love, he adopted a strict code of moral conduct.’
      • ‘The actors of today are simply too pretty and too vacant to depict the men and women of sterner days and stricter moral codes.’
      • ‘In almost every case the wrongdoing is by a few since most people operate according to high moral codes whatever the degree of disorganization.’
      • ‘Use of these drugs is routinely equated with socially degraded status and participation in activities indicative of the code of the streets.’
      • ‘We need each other, but women have always been the ones to set the moral codes, to keep men and their children on the right track.’
      • ‘When people are designing their own religions and their own moral codes, is it any shock that they're designing their own politics, too?’
      • ‘Why have ethical codes not figured prominently in discussions of the peer review process?’
      • ‘The suggestion seems to be that they offer him a sense of family and belonging, and that he identifies with their dubious code of loyalty.’
      set of principles, set of standards, set of customs
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verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1Convert (the words of a message) into a code so as to convey a secret meaning:

    ‘only Mitch knew how to read the message—even the name was coded’
    • ‘Places carry meanings and are coded with narrative significances, and these built-in values are useful to writers.’
    • ‘The package enables audio traffic - such as a phone conversation - to be coded as data, sent down an internet connection and then decoded at the other end.’
    • ‘Three-fourths of the message has already been deciphered, but the remaining fourth has apparently been coded in an entirely different way.’
    • ‘It is an awareness of how language codes the way we view the world, and how membership in various communities influences our understanding of the world.’
    • ‘But markets only respond to messages coded in the language of prices.’
    • ‘Thus the hats contain a message coded in the manner in which they are worn.’
    • ‘Sometimes the information she communicates is coded or covert - where exactly the missing animal may be found, for instance.’
    • ‘Not only may they be purposely babbling and coding their conversations to confuse the eavesdroppers, but there are also the complexities of language itself.’
    • ‘Given that the messages are claimed to be coded, it would seem that network editing is unlikely to pick them out.’
    • ‘There were little clues, like the fact that messages often started with a weather report, or the fact that Enigma never ever coded a given letter as itself.’
    1. 1.1 Express the meaning of (a statement) in an indirect way:
      ‘journalists made coded allusions to his deficiencies’
      • ‘He has removed any potential threat of even coded criticism from the foreign secretary by removing him from his post.’
      • ‘But then, as he says of himself, he must be coded an optimist.’
      • ‘How is a reader supposed to understand what an article is actually about if everything is all coded and coy?’
      • ‘There were hints about social security reform and coded signals about moving to a flat tax, but this speech, like this convention, was a war speech.’
      • ‘In a curious move, bombing the country is coded as a greater humanitarian good than feeding or educating people.’
      • ‘Enigmatic, coded, complicated, the film is a distinctive commentary on art, race, gender and nationalities.’
      • ‘On the back of this page are the directions to it, coded as a precaution.’
      • ‘Unchallenged, mainstream film coded the erotic into the language of the dominant patriarchal order.’
      • ‘Petroleum wealth seems often to be coded as undeserved and also as automatically making people rich.’
      • ‘So any seasoned interpreter immediately understood that ‘Curriculum for Excellence’ was coded language for tat and dumbing-down.’
      • ‘The Singaporean filmmaker argues that he's only amplifying what's already coded into the fable.’
      • ‘This minority group has long been coded in U.S. popular culture as a threat, a people who keep their motives and means well hidden.’
      • ‘This visual narrative appears to have incorporated other animal stories as well as interjected some coded political statements.’
      • ‘It is also one of the reasons why music is coded, and the political purposes of the musicians do not necessarily coincide with the political sentiments expressed in the lyrics.’
      • ‘His private perspective on public space, though highly subjective, is not coded with any personal information.’
      polite, substitute, mild, understated, softened, indirect, neutral, evasive, diplomatic, coded, newspeak, vague, inoffensive, genteel
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    2. 1.2 Assign a code to (something) for purposes of classification or identification:
      ‘she coded the samples and sent them for dissection’
      • ‘Instruments were coded with an identification number to track and follow up with non respondents.’
      • ‘The athlete watches the official seal both bottles, which are coded with a number rather than a name.’
      • ‘All sections were coded to prevent identification of the probe type or setting used.’
      • ‘The samples were coded so that the identity of the individual was not known to the person carrying out the tests.’
      • ‘Similarly, alcohol-related words were coded as 1 and nonalcohol words coded as 0.’
      • ‘The transcribed statements were coded according to general themes that emerged.’
      • ‘A nurse brought us a large number of test tubes, each one coded with a secret number so that we could not tell which contained fructose and which contained glucose.’
      • ‘Prior to coding, the names of speakers were removed (as were explicit references to the names of the parties themselves).’
      • ‘All audit observations should be coded by type and significance, and all audits catalogued by scope and quality.’
      • ‘Behaviors and conversation were noted and were coded by using the theoretical framework of enduring and suffering and comforting.’
      • ‘Response envelopes were coded with the hospital identification number to protect confidentiality.’
      • ‘If you code your medicines, be sure these identifications are included on any medicine record you use.’
      • ‘Questionnaires were anonymous, coded by a unique number rather than by name.’
      • ‘Type and severity of maltreatment were coded using the maltreatment classification system developed by Barnett et al.’
      • ‘Paintings will be coded with serial numbers and will come with a receipt to prove authenticity.’
      • ‘Documents show that this money appears to have been on deposit in the account, coded A / A40.’
      • ‘For each question, those students that replied affirmatively were coded with the value 1.’
      • ‘A person named Nguyen O'Brien will be coded Vietnamese, not Irish.’
      • ‘Each source quoted or paraphrased was coded separately, and all of a source's statements in an article were taken into account when applying coding categories.’
      • ‘They were also taperecorded, but were not transcribed for analysis since interviewers coded respondents' answers to all questions during the interview.’
  • 2Write code for (a computer program):

    ‘most developers code C + + like C’
    [no object] ‘I no longer actively code in PHP’
    • ‘Today while working on a design for a small project I'm doing, I coded a JavaScript image rollover for the first time in at least a year, maybe two.’
    • ‘New software for the state health care authority is being coded in part in India.’
    • ‘I didn't find it a difficult exam, but then I've been coding Windows Forms since Visual Basic 4 back in 1997.’
    • ‘When we code a computer program, we do not rewrite the entire thing every time something fails to work.’
    • ‘When you think of high technology, you probably imagine a software engineer sitting behind a computer, coding some new program.’
  • 3Biochemistry
    code for[no object] Be the genetic code for (an amino acid or protein):

    ‘genes that code for human growth hormone’
    • ‘Each gene, or a combination of genes, codes for the assembly of amino acids that combine in long chains forming proteins.’
    • ‘Mutations in genes coding for these proteins may be tolerated in an otherwise wild-type cell through the presence of one or more checkpoint pathways.’
    • ‘Several members of this group were found to contain a gene lying downstream of the YR gene that codes for a protein of unknown function.’
    • ‘Because of their possibly unusual evolution, genes coding for ribosomal proteins were excluded from the analysis.’
    • ‘This gene codes for a protein which is 513 amino acids in length.’
    1. 3.1 Be the genetic determiner of (a characteristic):
      ‘one pair of homologous chromosomes codes for eye colour’
      • ‘Data from animals suggest that the portion of the genome coding for reproduction-related function may be unusually dynamic.’
      • ‘Applying these principles to the horse, the genetic information coding for extra toes is present, but is switched off in most modern horses.’
      • ‘The loss of eye function is the result of a ‘downhill’ mutational change, a corruption or loss of the genetic information coding for eye manufacture.’
      • ‘The population will have ‘responded’ and become ‘adapted,’ but only because the genetic information coding for waxier cuticles and deeper roots was already present.’
      • ‘It had nothing to do with demonstrating how the genetic information coding for feathers could have arisen in the imagined reptilian ancestors of birds.’

Phrases

  • bring something up to code

    • Renovate or update an old building in line with the latest building regulations:

      ‘the wiring will be brought up to code’
      • ‘You will probably have to bring the home up to code if you undertake a remodeling.’
      • ‘In 1905, the architect bought the building on Orchard Street and included these improvements when he brought it up to code.’
      • ‘He warns that bringing the building up to code would be ‘extravagantly expensive.’’
      • ‘We didn't have to bring the bathrooms up to code and compliance because we didn't change the existing structure; instead, we cosmetically cleaned them up.’
      • ‘Right now, many wood stove manufacturers don't want to invest the $50,000 extra it would take to bring their product up to code.’
      • ‘The company then told her that she would have to use its contractors to bring the building up to code.’
      • ‘If your older deck was built this way, bring it up to code.’
      • ‘The gallery, which was formerly a storefront, had to undergo a few building improvements to bring it up to code.’
      • ‘Workers replaced the windows, cleaned the brick and brought the building up to code with ramps and elevators.’
      • ‘He also said it would cost at least $5000 either to remove the addition or to bring it up to code.’
      renovate, redecorate, refurbish, recondition, rehabilitate, rebuild, reconstruct, overhaul, make over
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Origin

Middle English: via Old French from Latin codex, codic- (see codex). The term originally denoted a systematic collection of statutes made by Justinian or another of the later Roman emperors; compare with code (mid 18th century), the earliest modern sense.

Pronunciation:

code

/kəʊd/