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 shockingly bright and over-the-top. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, 10 May 2022 In many cases, remote work has now become the modus operandi for companies, many of which have no immediate plans to return to shared workspaces. San Diego Union-Tribune, 15 Feb. 2022 Such a structure has been the modus operandi for the current Pacers front office. Tony East, Forbes, 26 Jan. 2022 Heavily localized content complementing a wealth of new and library offerings out of the U.S. is very much the modus operandi for HBO Max in Europe. Naman Ramachandran, Variety, 17 Mar. 2022 This became our modus operandi: holding concerts on the sidewalk steps away from the city’s central square. Dr. Richard Kurin, Smithsonian Magazine, 18 Mar. 2022 Breaking your heart, rather than removing one forcefully from a chest cavity, isn’t usually its modus operandi. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 18 Mar. 2022 Braggadocio has always been part of Puerto Rican rapper Anuel AA’s modus operandi, from his earliest underground recordings right up to today. Gary Suarez, Rolling Stone, 24 Nov. 2021 Just because Republicans have on the commission have shown that that is there a modus operandi at this point. Laura Johnston, cleveland, 2 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of modus operandi

1654, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for modus operandi

New Latin

Learn More About modus operandi

Time Traveler for modus operandi

Time Traveler

The first known use of modus operandi was in 1654

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near modus operandi


modus operandi

modus ponens

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for modus operandi

Last Updated

17 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Modus operandi.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for modus operandi

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

More from Merriam-Webster on modus operandi

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Eponyms: Words Named After People

How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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