Definition of modality in US English:

modality

noun

  • 1Modal quality.

    ‘the harmony had a touch of modality’
    • ‘They inhabit some idiosyncratic space between harmony and modality, neither more one than the other.’
    • ‘Now start adding in the number of modalities which exist, in addition to so-called major and minor keys.’
    • ‘There is an air of reflective modality about this recital, and yet it is Edmund Rubbra rather than Vaughan Williams to whom the greater part of the performance time is devoted.’
    • ‘Open fifths, fourths and tritones, modality and whole-tone scales abound.’
    • ‘This doesn't correspond to current usage, and in the discussion above, I assumed that can can refer to permission as well as ability, possibility and other forms of modality.’
    • ‘In English, such verbs have largely replaced the subjunctive mood, and three kinds of modality can be distinguished for them.’
    • ‘It was a conscious construction, an amalgam of Middle Eastern melismata and rhythms, Renaissance modality, and, oddly enough, Baroque counterpoint.’
    • ‘The language is a kind of chromatically-flavored modality (very suited to the opening chant) that Barber moved to in his late period.’
    • ‘If the modality concerns a past-time situation, the modal as such does not appear in a past-tense form.’
    • ‘There's a feeling of Renaissance modality to it - church music, if you will, without the official prayer.’
    • ‘Secondly, all the various kinds of modality can be expressed (some more idiomatically than others) without the use of the modal verbs.’
    • ‘And the idea of the other modalities being introduced as complements to the Lydian mode, was added.’
    • ‘The ‘could’, as I said, involves some other modality.’
  • 2A particular mode in which something exists or is experienced or expressed.

    • ‘Relaxation, a practiced therapy, includes the three modalities of self - mind, body, and spirit.’
    • ‘What is the modality of a person's relationship to others in the group?’
    • ‘I will say that some philosophers somehow change the modality in this characterization from can to must.’
    • ‘The exhibition succeeded in demonstrating various modalities of person-to-person interconnectedness and their aesthetic wake, albeit some more direct and convincing than others.’
    • ‘Moreover, the very preoccupation of communities with staving off God's wrath and propitiating the saints heightened their concern with the modalities of worship.’
    • ‘In this way the phenomenological reality of the spiritual modality of being could be demonstrated scientifically.’
    • ‘The eating patterns of young Vietnamese in Sydney concern these wider productive and social processes and the experiential modalities of consumption.’
    • ‘As a contested site, language must be disconnected from identification with specific ethnicities and be recognized for its different modalities for those individuals who claim specific languages as native.’
    1. 2.1 A particular method or procedure.
      ‘traditional modalities of representing time and space’
      • ‘In these modules, students encounter methods and assessment modalities similar to those used in postgraduate education - such as peer presentations.’
      • ‘Several diagnostic modalities have been used for ectopic pregnancy, either alone or in combination, but none has been established as superior to others.’
      • ‘The treatment methods and modalities do not need to be officially recognized by the scientific community or by the state.’
      • ‘In the future, advanced diagnostic modalities, such as myocardial perfusion imaging, may have a role in reducing unnecessary hospitalizations.’
      • ‘Endoscopic minimally invasive surgery has evolved from a diagnostic modality to a widespread surgical technique.’
      • ‘These are patients for whom traditional diagnostic and therapeutic modalities have failed.’
      • ‘The office work-up depends on available diagnostic modalities.’
      • ‘Other diagnostic modalities include Wood's lamp examination, fungal culture, and skin or nail biopsy.’
      • ‘Laparoscopy can be used as a diagnostic modality in situations where the cause of abdominal pain is not known.’
      • ‘Applied medical research could be on the diagnostic and therapeutic modalities, on agent-host-environment interactions, or health assessments.’
      • ‘Our methods did not incorporate other imaging modalities and we may have underestimated the prevalence of this finding.’
      • ‘However, with the advent of newer diagnostic and treatment modalities, more problems are getting detected and treated earlier, he adds.’
      • ‘The questions focused on general applications of therapeutic or diagnostic modalities in nonspecific clinical situations.’
      • ‘We now need to work out the modalities and the technical aspect.’
      • ‘The exact role and indications for use of these imaging modalities as diagnostic aids still are being defined.’
      • ‘In the last decade, several new lines of evidence have emerged that have re-examined this issue using either new diagnostic modalities or research techniques.’
      • ‘Some diagnostic modalities, such as computed tomographic scanning, have particularly low yields.’
      • ‘Although new diagnostic modalities have been developed, these criteria remain the standard method to diagnose PV.’
      • ‘Despite the expense, radiological investigation will remain the diagnostic modality of choice for the near future owing to the poor specificity of tumour markers in a clinical context.’
      • ‘‘We have to adopt different modalities and different ways to inject new resources into the banks,’ he said.’
    2. 2.2 A particular form of sensory perception.
      ‘the visual and auditory modalities’
      • ‘Thinking about affect invites an attention to perception, especially varieties of perception across sensory modalities.’
      • ‘Bioacoustic signals appear to be so essential to the social communication of anuran amphibians that other sensory modalities have been largely ignored.’
      • ‘In recent years, researchers have begun to investigate how the brain integrates information from different sensory modalities.’
      • ‘A variety of sensory modalities (visual, acoustical, chemical, and electrical) can be used for species-specific social communication.’
      • ‘Furthermore, hippocampal place fields can be sustained by different sensory modalities, apparently depending upon which modality is most reliable for the animal.’
      • ‘Such dispositions involve various sensory modalities such as vision and hearing.’
      • ‘Moreover, the synaesthetic associations between the different sensory modalities involved are persistent, not random.’
      • ‘Those measures of perceptual acuity were presented in the visual, auditory, and olfactory sensory modalities.’
      • ‘During the hypnagogic/hypnopompic states, people can experience brief and vivid imagery or sensations in one or more different sensory modalities or temporary paralysis.’
      • ‘The thalamus is an important integrating center which receives sensory signals of various modalities, and transmits processed information to appropriate areas of the cerebral cortex.’
      • ‘A successful offline retailer satisfies this requirement across all sensory modalities: sight, sound, feel, taste and smell.’
      • ‘Decisions and actions are not only made in response to inputs from all of the sensory modalities.’
      • ‘Of all potential sensory modalities capable of conveying such information regarding local predation risk, visual and chemical cues have been the most widely studied.’
      • ‘However, hallucinations in auditory and other sensory modalities can also occur.’
      • ‘Hallucination can occur in all sensory modalities.’
      • ‘Previous research into hypnagogic/hypnopompic imagery has tended to focus on hypnagogic imagery and the visual and auditory modalities in particular.’
      • ‘Complex signals are common throughout the animal kingdom, consisting of one or more signals in one or more sensory modalities presented within a single display.’
      • ‘Considering sight and smell as discrete modalities experiencing the object in each is similar but also, importantly, and perhaps, subtly different.’
      • ‘Such sensory modalities (in addition to spatial memory) expand the range of edible fruits and improve foraging efficiency.’
      • ‘While we have multiple sensory modalities, with thousands of different specificities, many of them have a common core.’
      • ‘But even areas of the cortex that appear to be devoted to a single sense may be influenced by other sensory modalities.’
    3. 2.3 (in medicine, particularly homeopathy) a symptom or pattern that aids in diagnosis.
      ‘The modality of “worse with activity” is associated with Rhus Tox’

Origin

Early 17th century: from medieval Latin modalitas, from modalis (see modal).

Pronunciation

modality

/moʊˈdælədi//mōˈdalədē/