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From French modalité.



modality (countable and uncountable, plural modalities)

  1. The fact of being modal.
  2. (logic) The classification of propositions on the basis on whether they claim possibility, impossibility, contingency or necessity; mode.
  3. (linguistics) The inflection of a verb that shows how its action is conceived by the speaker; mood
  4. (medicine) A method of diagnosis or therapy.
    • 2001, Gregory Keller, Victor Lacombe, Lasers in Aesthetic Surgery[1], page 188:
      If a port-wine stain has been treated with another modality, such as the argon, CO2, or KTP laser, electrocautery, radiation, or tattooing, FPDL treatment may provide less lightening and improvement.
    • 2006, Richard A. Helms, David J. Quan, Textbook of Therapeutics: Drug and Disease Management[2], page 2487:
      The four major modalities used in patients with solid tumors are (a) surgery, (b) radiation therapy, (c) chemotherapy, and (d) immunotherapy
    • 2010, Ellen Hillegass, H. Steven Sadowsky, Essentials of Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy[3]:
      Exercise training is a therapeutic modality that should be considered for all patients with ventricular dysfunction
    • 2011, George M. Kapalka, Pediatricians and Pharmacologically Trained Psychologists[4], page 7:
      In general, pharmacotherapy is less effective as a single modality approach than psychotherapy when treating chronic depression with an Axis II disorder.
  5. Any of the senses (such as sight or taste)
  6. (semiotics) 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. (theology) The organization and structure of the church, as distinct from sodality or parachurch organizations.
  8. (music) The subject concerning certain diatonic scales known as musical modes.
  9. (sociology) The way in which infrastructure and knowledge of how to use it give rise to a meaningful pattern of interaction (a concept in Anthony Giddens's structuration theory).
    • 1997, Christopher G. A. Bryant, David Jary, Anthony Giddens: Critical Assessments - Volume 4, →ISBN, page 307:
      Thus, the University budgeting system can be seen not only as modality in the reproduction of social structures, but also as an important means of meeting deeply rooted psychological needs for ontological security.
    • 2010, Kenneth Allan, Contemporary Social and Sociological Theory: Visualizing Social Worlds, →ISBN, page 255:
      Modalities of structuration, then, are simply ways in which rules and resources are knowingly used by people in interactions.
    • 2016, Jia Luo, Social Structuration in Tibetan Society, →ISBN:
      In turn, social structure and human interactions are interrelated through three aspects of modality: interpretive schema, facility, and norm.
    • 2016, Anna Reading, Gender and Memory in the Globital Age, →ISBN, page 52:
      An example, which I explore in detail in this book in Chap. 5, is the way that parents to be use their knowledge and expertise of how to mobilise digital memories (their affordances to use a mobile phone, to use social media platforms for example) to take sonographic image of the unborn foetius that they are given in a hospital out into the world and beyond. They thereby shift the modality of the medical procedure that generated the image-memory as part of an obstetric sonogram.
  10. (law) The quality of being limited by a condition.


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