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 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 There's no international modus operandi for how to count coronavirus infections and deaths. Kristen Rogers, CNN, "Johns Hopkins' dashboard: The people behind the pandemic's most visited site," 11 July 2020 But Facebook’s modus operandi is even worse than that, Eisenstat insists. oregonlive, "Facebook’s former head of elections integrity warns that the social-media giant is ‘on the wrong side of history’," 25 June 2020 Hideouts in rural regions in Iraq have become the new modus operandi for the terrorist organization after Iraqi Security Forces and Syrian Democratic Forces destroyed the last ISIS stronghold in March 2019. Fox News, "3 ISIS hideouts destroyed in Iraq, coalition says," 20 June 2020 Here’s our conversation, edited for clarity, about his modus operandi. Lucinda Shen, Fortune, "How do you bet on a company that doesn’t yet exist?," 1 May 2020 This has been Russian president Vladimir Putin’s modus operandi for decades. Jonah Goldberg, National Review, "Coronavirus Is Just More Fodder for Chinese Propaganda Campaign," 20 Mar. 2020 Both the original Zeus and its later variants, Jabber Zeus and GameOver Zeus, had a roughly similar modus operandi to Bugat: steal banking credentials, transfer the money. Wired, "Alleged Russian Hacker Behind $100 Million Evil Corp Indicted," 5 Dec. 2019 Ricochet and Samoa Joe delivered a nonstop clash of styles, with the high-flying modus operandi of Ricochet contrasting the brute power of Joe. Justin Barrasso,, "WWE Stomping Grounds Takeaways: Rematches Cloud Otherwise Exciting Show," 23 June 2019 That Powerton malware, the HTA trick, and the job lure all fit the modus operandi of APT33, which in previous operations has used those techniques against oil and gas targets around the Persian Gulf region. Andy Greenberg, WIRED, "Iranian Hackers Launch a New US-Targeted Campaign as Tensions Mount," 20 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

Time Traveler for modus operandi

Time Traveler

The first known use of modus operandi was in 1654

See more words from the same year

Statistics for modus operandi

Last Updated

15 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Modus operandi.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Aug. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

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

More from Merriam-Webster on modus operandi

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for modus operandi 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).


Test Your Vocabulary

July 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • papercraft sunset
  • Which is a synonym of mien?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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