meth·​od ˈme-thəd How to pronounce method (audio)
: a procedure or process for attaining an object: such as
: a systematic procedure, technique, or mode of inquiry employed by or proper to a particular discipline or art
: a systematic plan followed in presenting material for instruction
the lecture method
: a way, technique, or process of or for doing something
often slow in their business methodsT. R. Ybarra
: a body of skills or techniques
in the art of the novel, heavily armed with methodJ. D. Scott
: a discipline that deals with the principles and techniques of scientific inquiry
: orderly arrangement, development, or classification : plan
The book is completely lacking in method.
: the habitual practice of orderliness and regularity
time enough to do everything if only you used methodAngela Thirkell
capitalized : a dramatic technique by which an actor seeks to gain complete identification with the inner personality of the character being portrayed
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

Example Sentences

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.
Recent Examples on the Web After decades of turning to diet pills, steroids and plastic surgery to alter their bodies inside and out, people are increasingly open to an alternative method: injecting themselves with peptides at home. Sara Ashley O'brien, WSJ, 2 Mar. 2023 When a new method or treatment is in its infancy, practitioners generally only deploy it if there is nothing else to do and the potential consequences of doing nothing are catastrophic. Eva Holland, New York Times, 1 Mar. 2023 Guests are offered a host of programs and perks such as access to a score of medical professionals who have all been trained in the Mayr method as well as some of the foremost experts in developments in modern medicine. Liz Krieger, Town & Country, 1 Mar. 2023 Another method is described as playing irritating and incessant sounds through the stereo system. Eric Stafford, Car and Driver, 28 Feb. 2023 How to play Go Fish: Decide who will go first, either by drawing cards and having the player with the lowest card go first or by another method, like flipping a coin. Clare Mulroy, USA TODAY, 27 Feb. 2023 Ascend says that its recycling method uses relatively little energy and produces little toxic waste. Hiawatha Bray,, 27 Feb. 2023 Colomini recommends adopting the Skin Cycling method for your hair–alternating products to help repair and strengthen with styling days. ELLE, 27 Feb. 2023 Those concerns were largely allayed by the PGA, which is the only major awards group other than the Academy that employs that method to determine the winner of its top prize. Scott Feinberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 26 Feb. 2023 See More

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.

Word History


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

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near method

Cite this Entry

“Method.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


meth·​od ˈmeth-əd How to pronounce method (audio)
: a way, plan, or procedure for doing something
: orderly arrangement

Medical Definition


meth·​od ˈmeth-əd How to pronounce method (audio)
: a procedure or process for attaining an object: as
: a systematic procedure, technique, or mode of inquiry employed by or proper to a particular discipline see scientific method
: a way, technique, or process of or for doing something

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