—n. 1. a system for communication by telegraph, heliograph, etc., in which long and short sounds, light flashes, etc., are used to symbolize the content of a message: Morse code. 2. a system used for brevity or secrecy of communication, in which arbitrarily chosen words, letters, or symbols are assigned definite meanings.
3. any set of standards set forth and enforced by a local government agency for the protection of public safety, health, etc., as in the structural safety of buildings (building code), health requirements for plumbing, ventilation, etc. (sanitary or health code), and the specifications for fire escapes or exits (fire code). 4. a systematically arranged collection or compendium of laws, rules, or regulations.
5. any authoritative, general, systematic, and written statement of the legal rules and principles applicable in a given legal order to one or more broad areas of life.
6. a word, letter, number, or other symbol used in a code system to mark, represent, or identify something: The code on the label shows the date of manufacture. 7. Computers.the symbolic arrangement of statements or instructions in a computer program in which letters, digits, etc. are represented as binary numbers; the set of instructions in such a program: That program took 3000 lines of code. Cf. ASCII, object code, source code. 8. any system or collection of rules and regulations: a gentleman's code of behavior. 9. Med.a directive or alert to a hospital team assigned to emergency resuscitation of patients.
10. Genetics.See genetic code. 11. Ling. a. the system of rules shared by the participants in an act of communication, making possible the transmission and interpretation of messages.
b. (in sociolinguistic theory) one of two distinct styles of language use that differ in degree of explicitness and are sometimes thought to be correlated with differences in social class. Cf. elaborated code, restricted code.
—v.t. 1. to translate (a message) into a code; encode.
2. to arrange or enter (laws or statutes) in a code.
3. Computers.to translate (a program) into language that can be communicated to the computer.
—v.i. Genetics.to specify the amino acid sequence of a protein by the sequence of nucleotides comprising the gene for that protein: a gene that codes for the production of insulin.