method

noun meth·od \ ˈme-thəd \
Updated on: 10 Nov 2017

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
3 a : 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

Examples of method in a Sentence

  1. He claims to have developed a new method for growing tomatoes.

  2. Their teaching method tries to adapt lessons to each student.

  3. We need to adopt more modern methods of doing things.

Recent Examples of method from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of method

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

Synonym Discussion of 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


METHOD Defined for English Language Learners

method

noun

Definition of method for English Language Learners

  • : a way of doing something

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


METHOD Defined for Kids

method

noun meth·od \ ˈme-thəd \

Definition of method for Students

1 : a certain way of doing something
  • She uses her own method of teaching.
2 : careful arrangement
  • His work lacks method.

Medical Dictionary

method

noun 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


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

food, provisions, or a tasty dish

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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