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module

[moj-ool] /ˈmɒdʒ ul/
noun
1.
a separable component, frequently one that is interchangeable with others, for assembly into units of differing size, complexity, or function.
2.
any of the individual, self-contained segments of a spacecraft, designed to perform a particular task:
the spacecraft's command module; a lunar module.
3.
a standard or unit for measuring.
4.
a selected unit of measure, ranging in size from a few inches to several feet, used as a basis for the planning and standardization of building materials.
5.
Mathematics. an Abelian group with a set of left or right operators forming a ring such that for any two operators and any group element the result of having the first operator act on the element, giving a second element, and the second operator act on the second element is equal to the result of having a single operator, formed by adding or multiplying the two operators, act on the first element.
Compare ring1 (def 23).
6.
Computers.
  1. part of a program that performs a distinct function.
  2. an interchangeable, plug-in hardware unit.
Origin
1555-1565
1555-65; < Latin modulus; see modulus
Can be confused
mode, module.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for modules
  • Only concentrator solar cell modules need to be mounted on trackers.
  • Technological improvements have made solar-electric modules more cost-effective.
  • The floating facility's design features a series of cylinder modules attached to a larger truss of a dozen segments.
  • Ultimately he hopes to lease modules for use as hotels, labs, or movie studios.
  • We are all monkeys and have well established brain modules for endless comparison and status qualms with our fellow monkeys.
  • The company makes a variety of solar modules with proprietary thin technology.
  • The company makes and sells solar electric power modules.
  • There are large hydraulic rams sticking into the modules.
  • Chloroplasts are not independent modules that can be easily separated from their host cell and implanted into another.
  • Finally, natural gas facilities can be online in a few years and can be installed in modules as projected demand requires.
British Dictionary definitions for modules

module

/ˈmɒdjuːl/
noun
1.
a self-contained unit or item, such as an assembly of electronic components and associated wiring or a segment of computer software, which itself performs a defined task and can be linked with other such units to form a larger system
2.
a standard unit of measure, esp one used to coordinate the dimensions of buildings and components; in classical architecture, half the diameter of a column at the base of the shaft
3.
a standardized unit designed to be added to or used as part of an arrangement of similar units, as in furniture
4.
(astronautics) any of several self-contained separable units making up a spacecraft or launch vehicle, each of which has one or more specified tasks: command module, service module
5.
(education) a short course of study, esp of a vocational or technical subject, that together with other such completed courses can count towards a particular qualification
Word Origin
C16: from Latin modulus, diminutive of modusmode
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for modules

module

n.

1580s, "allotted measure," from Middle French module (1540s) or directly from Latin modulus "small measure," diminutive of modus "measure, manner" (see mode (n.1)). Meaning "interchangeable part" first recorded 1955; that of "separate section of a spacecraft" is from 1961.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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