modus operandi

noun
mo·​dus ope·​ran·​di | \ ˌmō-dəs-ˌä-pə-ˈran-dē How to pronounce modus operandi (audio) , -ˌdī\
plural modi operandi\ ˈmō-​ˌdē-​ How to pronounce modi operandi (audio) , ˈmō-​ˌdī-​ \

Definition of modus operandi

: a method of procedure the best approach … was to do things through quiet persuasion, which was his modus operandi— James Traub especially : a distinct pattern or method of operation that indicates or suggests the work of a single criminal in more than one crime got her picture identified, discovered her modus operandi, and put a stakeout on her neighborhood Time

Examples of modus operandi in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Today, this level of secrecy simply isn't the typical modus operandi—recipes routinely get swapped and promoted in order to raise the profile of bars, drinks, bartenders, or any combination thereof. Nathan Mattise, Ars Technica, "You can’t copyright a cocktail, so what’s a creative bartender to do?," 21 July 2019 By Connie Bruck Profiles Donald Trump’s modus operandi has a sharp focus: never budge from the premise that the universe revolves around you, and, above all, stay in character. Evan Lian, The New Yorker, "Eternal Damnations for the Twenty-first Century," 25 May 2018 The Broncos’ ideal modus operandi offensively is run to set up the play-action pass. Ryan O'halloran, The Denver Post, "Lessons learned: Broncos’ Courtland Sutton intends to apply rookie year experience to become elite in 2019," 21 July 2019 Prosecutors believe the shooters were Lising-Campos and Watts, and say the shootings were consistent with the Manor Boyz gang’s modus operandi, which a police gang expert testified has gotten more violent in recent years. Nate Gartrell, The Mercury News, "Defendant gets 16 years in Richmond murder case centered on new state laws," 20 June 2019 Such was the late photographer Slim Aaron's modus operandi. Fiorella Valdesolo, Town & Country, "Slim Aarons and Napoleon Perdis Collection," 8 July 2014 The comments in question were never reported to the moderators as breaking the rules by other users and the Reddit admins did not reach out to us before this action as is the usual modus operandi. Tara Law, Time, "Reddit Places a 'Quarantine' on The_Donald, Its Largest Community of Trump Supporters," 28 June 2019 The modus operandi was identical _ a prowler, shoelace ligatures, voyeurism, ransacking and rapes as in the East Area Rapist cases. Tribune News Service, oregonlive.com, "The Man in the Window: Closing in on DeAngelo (Part Four)," 23 June 2019 That is entirely consistent with a motivation to incite divisions and dissent in the body politic of free Western nations, which is Russia’s modus operandi. Andrew C. Mccarthy, National Review, "The Lessons of the Mueller Probe," 12 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'modus operandi.' 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 modus operandi

1654, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for modus operandi

New Latin

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about modus operandi

Statistics for modus operandi

Last Updated

31 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for modus operandi

The first known use of modus operandi was in 1654

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for modus operandi

modus operandi

noun

English Language Learners Definition of modus operandi

formal : a usual way of doing something especially : the usual way that a particular criminal performs a crime

modus operandi

noun
mo·​dus ope·​ran·​di | \ ˌmō-dəs-ˌä-pə-ˈran-dē, -ˌdī How to pronounce modus operandi (audio) \

Legal Definition of modus operandi

: a distinct pattern or method of operation especially that indicates or suggests the work of a single criminal in more than one crime

History and Etymology for modus operandi

New Latin, manner of operating

More from Merriam-Webster on modus operandi

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for modus operandi

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about modus operandi

Comments on modus operandi

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

WORD OF THE DAY

miscellaneous remnants or debris

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

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!