module

[moj-ool]
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.
a.
part of a program that performs a distinct function.
b.
an interchangeable, plug-in hardware unit.

Origin:
1555–65; < Latin modulus; see modulus

mode, module.
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World English Dictionary
module (ˈmɒdjuːl)
 
n
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
 
[C16: from Latin modulus, diminutive of modusmode]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

module
1586, "allotted measure," from M.Fr. module, from L. modulus "small measure," dim. of modus "measure, manner" (see mode (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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Example sentences
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.
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