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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Grace and Frankie is a female revenge fantasy, in which friendship and dildos are the methods of choice. Emily Dreyfuss, WIRED, "9 Emmy-Nominated Shows You Can Binge to Escape Reality," 13 July 2018 This is the preferred method if the relationship has gotten beyond weird. Peter Dunn, USA TODAY, "Pete the Planner: Has your financial adviser failed you? 3 ways to let them know it," 13 July 2018 This is the preferred method if the relationship has gotten beyond weird. Peter Dunn, Indianapolis Star, "Pete the Planner: Breaking up with a financial adviser doesn't need to be painful," 11 July 2018 Reading books can sometime be the best method to escape to an alternate reality. Jessica Suriano, azcentral, "Phoenix monsoon storms: Best things to do when the power goes out," 10 July 2018 The main entrance on Gilgare Lane has been widened, and the new parking lot has five handicapped spaces and an evaporator toilet building, which is a waste disposal method that reduces odors and saves water. Frank Abderholden, Lake County News-Sun, "The natural and historic charms at Fort Sheridan open to public again," 3 July 2018 That's equal to or cheaper than estimates for biofuels, which were thought to be the most practical method. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "Splitting water for fuel while removing CO₂ from the air," 28 June 2018 Longtime SoftBank investor Lydia Jett and her new colleague, former Shutterfly CEO Jeff Housenbold, will explain if there is a method to SoftBank’s madness. Adam Lashinsky, Fortune, "How Big Tech Is Dealing with the Big Backlash," 12 June 2018 Embedding technology into the fabric is more effective than traditional methods, such as coatings that can wear off or be toxic to humans, or electronic devices that are bulky and awkward to wear. Allison Hagan,, "UMass Lowell fabric center aims to make smarter clothes," 12 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.

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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

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Statistics for method

Last Updated

4 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for method

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

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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

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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).


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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