modus operandi

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 modus 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 Her modus operandi is to pretend to black out at a bar and wait for a man to offer to walk her home. Eliana Dockterman, Time, "Pop Culture Reckoned With #MeToo in Radical New Ways in 2020—Even as It Receded From Headlines," 22 Dec. 2020 The power to pay it forward, while representing a demographic television could use more of, is part of Hall’s modus operandi. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Tamron Hall Is the Most Fashionable Woman on Daytime Television. Period," 14 Dec. 2020 The decision of which company would be awarded the contract to replace those trucks was slated to happen at the end of this year, but as is the modus operandi of 2020, those plans changed. Colin Beresford, Car and Driver, "USPS Not Ready to Part with Deteriorating Grumman LLV Postal Trucks," 3 Dec. 2020 As someone who explicitly campaigned on the idea of being a calming presence in the Oval Office compared to Trump, Biden might bring this modus operandi to the White House. W. James Antle Iii, Washington Examiner, "Democrats think low-profile Biden will be key post-Trump," 1 Dec. 2020 But will Michigan adjust its modus operandi with the running backs? Rainer Sabin, Detroit Free Press, "How Michigan football is getting in the way of its own running game," 20 Nov. 2020 Waller's modus operandi was to learn a victim's name, study their daily routines, break into the women's homes late at night and tie them up. NBC News, "'NorCal Rapist' suspect found guilty on all 46 charges from attacks dating back to 1991," 19 Nov. 2020 Prosecutors said his modus operandi was to give lenders fake financial statements indicating that his family trust was worth many millions of dollars. Kevin Krause, Dallas News, "Feds say father-daughter team who promised new Grapevine restaurant delivered fraud," 15 Nov. 2020 Indeed, Morgan’s modus operandi for the entire series has been to show the vulnerabilities of the royal family and those around them. Washington Post, "Princess Diana and Margaret Thatcher are central to ‘The Crown’ Season 4 — and so are their roles as mothers," 13 Nov. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of modus operandi

1654, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for modus operandi

New Latin

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Time Traveler for modus operandi

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The first known use of modus operandi was in 1654

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Statistics for modus operandi

Last Updated

30 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Modus operandi.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for modus operandi

modus operandi

How to pronounce modus operandi (audio)

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

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

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for modus operandi Encyclopedia article about modus operandi

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