Date: 1500-1600
Language: French
Origin: Latin codex; CODEX


1 noun
code1 S2 W2


[countable] a set of rules, laws, or principles that tell people how to behave:
The Torah is the basis for all the Jewish laws and their moral code.
Each state in the US has a different criminal and civil code.
The judge ruled that there had been no breach of the code.
There were plans to introduce a dress code (=rules about what to wear) for civil servants.
code of conduct/behaviour/ethics
the strict code of conduct that is so much a part of karate
code of practice (=a set of rules that people in a particular business or profession agree to obey)
The Textile Services Association has drawn up a code of practice endorsed by the Office of Fair Trading.
Highway Code, penal code

secret message

[uncountable and countable] a system of words, letters, or symbols that you use instead of ordinary writing, so that the information can only be understood by someone else who knows the system
in code
All reports must be sent in code.
break/crack a code (=manage to understand a code)
They didn't realise that we'd broken their secret code.

symbols giving information

[countable] a set of numbers, letters, or symbols that shows what something is or gives information about it:
Goods that you order must have a product code.
Every item found on the archaeological dig is given a code number.
bar code, genetic code, postcode, zip code


also dialling code, STD code British EnglishTCT [countable] the group of numbers that comes before a telephone number when you are calling from a different area [= area code American English]
What's the code for Aberdeen?


TD [uncountable and countable] a set of instructions that tell a computer what to do machine code, source code


[countable] a system of sounds or signals that represent words or letters when they are sent by machine

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