Meaning of CODE in English


I. ˈkōd noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French code, from Latin codex, caudex trunk of a tree, split block of wood, tablet of wood covered with wax on which the ancients wrote, book, a writing; akin to Latin cudere to beat — more at hew

1. law

a. in ancient times : any written collection of laws

b. in more modern times : a systematic complete written collection of law arranged logically with index and table of contents and covering fully one or more subjects of law

The Internal Revenue Code

c. in the jurisdictions following the common law : a written compilation periodically amended of the existing statutes of general and permanent importance, sometimes expressly repealing all prior laws inconsistent with the compilation, sometimes being only a restatement of the existing statutes and only prima-facie evidence of the true laws passed by the legislature

The Code of Laws of the U.S.

d. : a written revision of all existing statutory laws of permanent and general importance eliminating clerical errors and obsolete portions and occasionally including amendments and new provisions

e. in the jurisdictions following the most advanced theory of the civil law : a written complete logical systematic statement of the entire law in effect in the jurisdiction with complete index and table of contents and repealing all prior laws

the Napoleonic Code

2. : any of various systems or collections of principles, rules, or regulations that do not constitute a legal code: as

a. : any set of traditional rules of conduct that are considered morally binding upon the individual as a member of a particular group, a resident of a particular place, or a participant in a particular activity

the code of a gentleman

the code of the West

the code of organized crime

broadly : customary socially acceptable behavior (as of an individual or group)

a complex fashion code also requires that women have more clothes than men — Time

b. : a set of rules for or standards of professional practices or behavior set up by an organized group (as an association of manufacturers) and usually reinforced by certain police and punitive powers of the group against nonconforming members

the medical association may close the hospitals to physicians who transgress its ethical code

often : a formal statement of such a set of rules or standards

the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature

c. : a set of rules of procedure and standards of materials designed to secure uniformity and protect the public interest in such matters as building construction and public health established usually by a public agency and commonly having the force of law in a particular jurisdiction

a building code

changes in the sanitary code

3. : any system of symbols for meaningful communication:

a. : a system of standardized signals for mechanically conveying information (as by telegraph, heliograph, flags, drums, or smoke) between points separated by a finite distance

b. : a system of symbols designed primarily to restrict comprehension (as of a message) to particular individuals:

(1) : a system in which arbitrary meanings are assigned to letters, numbers, words, or other symbols and often used to procure brevity or system as well as secrecy

each case history written up in a simple code

specifically : a complete cryptographic system employing code groups of standard lengths (as 3742 or XEQSJ) each group representing a plaintext segment of any convenient length (as a sentence, phrase, word, or affix, or a letter of the alphabet for spelling out words otherwise unprovided for) and normally embodied in a code book — see agent code , book code , code book ; permutation table

(2) : a record of such a system : code book

(3) : cipher 2 — not used technically

c. : language conceived as a stock of signals from which the speaker or writer chooses certain ones with which to convey his message

d. : any system of symbols for introducing information and instructions into an automatic computer or tabulating machine ; also : a recording of such symbols (as by punching cards or magnetizing spots on magnetic tape)


a. : a word or other symbol used in a code system instead of a plaintext term

“hocus” was the code for the city editor

b. : a group of numbers indicating the order, position, and form of the wards required on a key to draw the bolt of a particular lock

c. : a symbol used to identify something that lacks a specific name

several of the new fibers, especially codes 500, 610, and 687, look promising

II. transitive verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

1. : to put in or into the form or symbols of a code

code a system of laws

code a message for transmission by shortwave radio

2. : to classify or categorize by a code especially to facilitate tabulation

coded the information

coding … words into numbers so that answers to questions may be punched on tabulating cards and tabulated by machine — J.H.Platten

personnel who code diseases and operations according to standard nomenclature — Journal American Medical Association

nearly 800 other treated patients have been coded and analyzed — P.H.Wilcox

III. noun

1. : genetic code herein

2. : a set of instructions for a computer program

3. : code blue herein

IV. transitive verb

: to specify the genetic code for

an amino acid coded by a nucleotide sequence

intransitive verb

: to specify the genetic code

the DNA sequence of the gene that codes for that protein — Gina B. Kolata

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.