say I have a bunch of numbers (eg I have bought nine boxes of matches and counted how many matches in each box) I found 44, 45, 51, 44, 39, 41, 47, 44 and 45

so there was one box with 39 matches one box with 41 matches three boxes with 44 matches two boxes with 45 matches one box with 47 matches one box with 51 matches

the modal number in this case is 44 because there were more boxes with 44 matches than any other.

You can have more than one modal number eg: I have ten iced cupcakes with chocolate chips on, I counted the number on chocolate chips on each cake 4, 6, 4, 5, 6, 4, 5, 7, 3 and 6

one cake had 3 chocolate chips three cakes had 4 chocolate chips two cakes had 5 chocolate chips three cakes had 6 chocolate chips one cake had 7 chocolate chips

so 4 and 6 was the most frequent number of chocolate chips and they both on the same number of cakes (three cakes each). In this case the modal numbers are 4 and 6

The term modal as an adjective means: characteristic of or pertaining to a mode. In grammar of, expressing or pertaining to the mood of a verb. In terms of music it would mean of, composed in, characteristic of, or pertaining to, any of the modes that are representative of medieval church music.

In the area of philosophy the word modal is used to mean of or pertaining to mode without any reference to substance. In the field of Logic, it is used to mean characterized by or expressing modality. When it comes to the discipline of Statistics, it would mean of or pertaining to a particular statistical mode or to statistical modes. As a noun, it is used in the sense of a modal auxiliary.

The term has its roots in the Medieval Latin term modalis; from the Latin word modus, meaning measure. The adverb form of the word is modally