Meaning of CODE in English

/ kəʊd; NAmE koʊd/ noun , verb

■ noun


[ C , U ] (often in compounds) a system of words, letters, numbers or symbols that represent a message or record information secretly or in a shorter form :

to break / crack a code (= to understand and read the message)

It's written in code .

Tap your code number into the machine.

In the event of the machine not operating correctly, an error code will appear.

—see also area code , bar code , Morse code , postcode , ZIP code , sort code


[ C ] = dialling code :

There are two codes for London.


[ U ] ( computing ) a system of computer programming instructions

—see also machine code , source code


[ C ] a set of moral principles or rules of behaviour that are generally accepted by society or a social group :

a strict code of conduct


[ C ] a system of laws or written rules that state how people in an institution or a country should behave :

the penal code

—see also dress code , Highway Code

■ verb [ vn ]


to write or print words, letters, numbers, etc. on sth so that you know what it is, what group it belongs to, etc. :

Each order is coded separately.


to put a message into code so that it can only be understood by a few people


( computing ) to write a computer program by putting one system of numbers, words and symbols into another system

SYN encode



Middle English : via Old French from Latin codex , codic- literally block of wood , later denoting a block split into leaves or tablets for writing on, hence a book. The term originally denoted a systematic collection of statutes made by Justinian or another of the later Roman emperors; compare with sense 5 (mid 18th cent.), the earliest modern sense.

Oxford Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Оксфордский английский словарь для изучающик язык на продвинутом уровне.