A modality is the way or mode in which something exists or is done. You might often see it used with reference to diagnostic modality, which is the way in which a disease or illness is diagnosed by a doctor.

Modality shares its root with the word mode, meaning "the way in which something happens or is experienced." A sensory modality is a way of sensing, like vision or hearing. Modality in someone's voice gives a sense of the person's mood. In logic, modality has to do with whether a proposition is necessary, possible, or impossible. In general, a modality is a particular way in which something exists.

Primary Meanings of modality

how something is done or how it happens
a particular sense
verb inflections that express how the action or state is conceived by the speaker
Full Definitions of modality

n how something is done or how it happens

fashion, manner, mode, style, way
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artistic style, idiom
the style of a particular artist or school or movement
the manner in which fabric hangs or falls
the manner in which something fits
a particular mode in which something is manifested
life style, life-style, lifestyle, modus vivendi
a manner of living that reflects the person's values and attitudes
the way something is organized or arranged
signature, touch
a distinguishing style
a way of doing or being
the manner in which an electrical or mechanical device responds to an input signal or a range of input signals
baroque, baroqueness
elaborate and extensive ornamentation in decorative art and architecture that flourished in Europe in the 17th century
classical style
the artistic style of ancient Greek art with its emphasis on proportion and harmony
(architecture) one of original three styles of Greek architecture distinguished by the type of column and entablature used or a style developed from the original three by the Romans
fanciful but graceful asymmetric ornamentation in art and architecture that originated in France in the 18th century
High Renaissance
the artistic style of early 16th century painting in Florence and Rome; characterized by technical mastery and heroic composition and humanistic content
a manner of dealing with something artistically
fast lane
a hectic and pressured lifestyle often characterized by recklessness or dissipation
free living
a lifestyle given to easy indulgence of the appetites
vanity fair
a vain and frivolous lifestyle especially in large cities
common touch
the property of appealing to people in general (usually by appearing to have qualities in common with them)
the way a garment hangs
revival of a classical style (in art or literature or architecture or music) but from a new perspective or with a new motivation
classicalism, classicism
a movement in literature and art during the 17th and 18th centuries in Europe that favored rationality and restraint and strict forms
Romantic Movement, Romanticism
a movement in literature and art during the late 18th and early 19th centuries that celebrated nature rather than civilization
Type of:
a basic or essential attribute shared by all members of a class

n a particular functioning condition or arrangement

Type of:
condition, status
a state at a particular time

n a method of therapy that involves physical or electrical therapeutic treatment

a method of physical therapy that involves generating local heat in body tissues by high-frequency electromagnetic currents
Type of:
intervention, treatment
care provided to improve a situation (especially medical procedures or applications that are intended to relieve illness or injury)

n a classification of propositions on the basis of whether they claim necessity or possibility or impossibility

Type of:
logical relation
a relation between propositions

n a particular sense

sense modality, sensory system
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sight, vision, visual modality, visual sense
the ability to see; the visual faculty
any of the sensory systems that mediate sensations of pressure and tickle and warmth and cold and vibration and limb position and limb movement and pain
audition, auditory modality, auditory sense, hearing, sense of hearing
the ability to hear; the auditory faculty
gustation, gustatory modality, sense of taste, taste
the faculty of distinguishing sweet, sour, bitter, and salty properties in the mouth
olfaction, olfactory modality, sense of smell, smell
the faculty that enables us to distinguish scents
normal eyesight
cutaneous senses, sense of touch, skin senses, touch, touch modality
the faculty by which external objects or forces are perceived through contact with the body (especially the hands)
achromatic vision
vision using the rods
acuity, sharp-sightedness, visual acuity
sharpness of vision; the visual ability to resolve fine detail (usually measured by a Snellen chart)
binocular vision
vision involving the use of both eyes
central vision
vision using the fovea and parafovea; the middle part of the visual field
chromatic vision, color vision, trichromacy
the normal ability to see colors
distance vision
vision for objects that a 20 feet or more from the viewer
eyesight, seeing, sightedness
normal use of the faculty of vision
monocular vision
vision with only one eye
near vision
vision for objects 2 feet or closer to the viewer
night vision, night-sight, scotopic vision, twilight vision
the ability to see in reduced illumination (as in moonlight)
daylight vision, photopic vision
normal vision in daylight; vision with sufficient illumination that the cones are active and hue is perceived
peripheral vision
vision at the edges of the visual field using only the periphery of the retina
good hearing
absolute pitch, perfect pitch
the ability to identify the pitch of a tone
the sense of smell (especially in animals)
feeling of movement, kinaesthesia, kinesthesia
the perception of body position and movement and muscular tensions etc
Type of:
sensation, sense, sensory faculty, sentience, sentiency
the faculty through which the external world is apprehended

n verb inflections that express how the action or state is conceived by the speaker

mode, mood
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common mood, declarative, declarative mood, fact mood, indicative, indicative mood
a mood (grammatically unmarked) that represents the act or state as an objective fact
subjunctive, subjunctive mood
a mood that represents an act or state (not as a fact but) as contingent or possible
optative, optative mood
a mood (as in Greek or Sanskrit) that expresses a wish or hope; expressed in English by modal verbs
imperative, imperative form, imperative mood, jussive mood
a mood that expresses an intention to influence the listener's behavior
interrogative, interrogative mood
some linguists consider interrogative sentences to constitute a mood
Type of:
grammatical relation
a linguistic relation established by grammar

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