meth·od | \ˈme-thəd \

Definition of method 

1 : a procedure or process for attaining an object: such as

a(1) : a systematic procedure, technique, or mode of inquiry employed by or proper to a particular discipline or art

(2) : a systematic plan followed in presenting material for instruction the lecture method

b(1) : a way, technique, or process of or for doing something often slow in their business methods— T. R. Ybarra

(2) : a body of skills or techniques in the art of the novel, heavily armed with method— J. D. Scott

2 : a discipline that deals with the principles and techniques of scientific inquiry

3a : orderly arrangement, development, or classification : plan The book is completely lacking in method.

b : the habitual practice of orderliness and regularity time enough to do everything if only you used method— Angela Thirkell

4 capitalized : a dramatic technique by which an actor seeks to gain complete identification with the inner personality of the character being portrayed

Keep scrolling for more

Choose the Right Synonym for method

method, mode, manner, way, fashion, system mean the means taken or procedure followed in achieving an end. method implies an orderly logical arrangement usually in steps. effective teaching methods mode implies an order or course followed by custom, tradition, or personal preference. the preferred mode of transportation manner is close to mode but may imply a procedure or method that is individual or distinctive. an odd manner of conducting way is very general and may be used for any of the preceding words. has her own way of doing things fashion may suggest a peculiar or characteristic way of doing something. rushing about in his typical fashion system suggests a fully developed or carefully formulated method often emphasizing rational orderliness. a filing system

Examples of method in a Sentence

He claims to have developed a new method for growing tomatoes. Their teaching method tries to adapt lessons to each student. We need to adopt more modern methods of doing things.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

The growers use only natural or organic growing methods. Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp, Indianapolis Star, "The Hoosier Gardener: Trip to Bordeaux wine country is an educational experience," 13 July 2018 Supervisors mostly agree with changing the bowhunting ordinance, but are not as interested in using other methods to cull the deer population, such as sharpshooting and birth control. Jordyn Noennig, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Delafield may ease rules on bowhunting as it considers reducing deer population," 2 July 2018 Utah now allows that method if drugs for execution are unavailable. CBS News, "Texas executes Danny Paul Bible for 1979 rape, murder in Houston," 28 June 2018 Utah now allows that method if drugs for execution are unavailable. Michael Graczyk, The Seattle Times, "Texas inmate wants to be executed by firing squad or gas," 26 June 2018 One of the unresolved questions of the Trump is whether there is a method to Trump’s madness? Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "Does it matter if Trump has a North Korea strategy?," 14 June 2018 Yup, there isn't a one-size-fits-all method to contouring your face. Devon Abelman, Allure, "How to Contour for Your Face Shape," 13 June 2018 In fact, there is a method to the emoji madness: Behind every successful candidate is a lengthy proposal advocating for its representation on keyboards around the world., "The Best Part Of The New Emoji Are The Proposals Fighting For Their Existence," 7 June 2018 Many experts have weighed in on possible extraction methods that would minimize risk to the boys. Washington Post,, "Four boys removed from Thailand cave as divers race to beat the rains," 9 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'method.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of method

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for method

Middle English, prescribed treatment, from Latin methodus, from Greek methodos, from meta- + hodos way

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about method

Statistics for method

Last Updated

7 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for method

The first known use of method was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for method



English Language Learners Definition of method

: a way of doing something

: a careful or organized plan that controls the way something is done


meth·od | \ˈme-thəd \

Kids Definition of method

1 : a certain way of doing something She uses her own method of teaching.

2 : careful arrangement His work lacks method.


meth·od | \ˈmeth-əd \

Medical Definition of method 

: a procedure or process for attaining an object: as

a : a systematic procedure, technique, or mode of inquiry employed by or proper to a particular discipline — see scientific method

b : a way, technique, or process of or for doing something

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on method

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for method

Spanish Central: Translation of method

Nglish: Translation of method for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of method for Arabic Speakers

Comments on method

What made you want to look up method? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


not any or not one

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!