modal

Think of modal as relating to some "mode," or form. A modal verb is a helper that gives additional information about the verb that follows it, and includes such words as "can," "will," "should," and "may," among others.

The English word modal has long been used as a term in logic and statistics, such as "modal values." Toward the end of that century, the term was used in music, suggesting a use of harmonies and melodies based on other than the standard major and minor scales, in a style found in medieval liturgical music. Modal logic, in philosophy, is a supposition or conclusion based on the ideas of probability and necessity rather than concrete fact.

PRIMARY MEANINGS OF: modal

1
adjn
relating to or expressing the mood of a verb
an auxiliary verb (such as `can' or `will') that is used to express modality
2
adj
of or relating to a musical mode; especially written in an ecclesiastical mode
3
adj
relating to or constituting the most frequent value in a distribution
FULL DEFINITIONS OF: modal
1

adj relating to or expressing the mood of a verb

modal auxiliary”

n an auxiliary verb (such as `can' or `will') that is used to express modality

Synonyms:
modal auxiliary, modal auxiliary verb, modal verb
Type of:
auxiliary verb
a verb that combines with another verb in a verb phrase to help form tense, mood, voice, or condition of the verb it combines with
2

adj of or relating to a musical mode; especially written in an ecclesiastical mode

3

adj relating to or constituting the most frequent value in a distribution

“the modal age at which American novelists reach their peak is 30”
Synonyms:
average
normal
conforming with or constituting a norm or standard or level or type or social norm; not abnormal
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