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 The defense also suggested in pre-trial hearings that Floyd's behavior that day and last May should be interpreted as his modus operandi when police approach him. Eric Levenson And Aaron Cooper, CNN, "Derek Chauvin's defense expected to put its own medical experts on stand," 14 Apr. 2021 That very well could be plastered on the gilded door of The Britely, a new member’s only club in Los Angeles where maximalism is the modus operandi. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "The Britely, a New Member’s Club in Los Angeles, Is Feather-Filled and Fabulous," 30 Mar. 2021 Regulators’ anger at Mr. Ma’s modus operandi mounted in recent years. Keith Zhai, WSJ, "China Lays Plans to Tame Tech Giant Alibaba," 11 Mar. 2021 But the league plans a return to its recent modus operandi by holding the event – this year will mark the 86th draft – throughout one of its club's markets. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, "NFL announces plans to move forward with 2021 draft in Cleveland while following COVID-19 protocols," 22 Mar. 2021 Passing standalone immigration bills is a change in the modus operandi for Capitol Hill, where a comprehensive package was long seen as the key to major immigration reform overhaul that brought both Democrats and Republicans to the table. Rebecca Kaplan, CBS News, "Immigration bills passed in the House face uncertain fate in the Senate," 19 Mar. 2021 Employees become comfortable with the modus operandi and avoid – and even resist – opportunities to discover new ways to work. Ashu Goel, Forbes, "How To Foster A Culture Of Continuous Learning," 4 Mar. 2021 Their venoms make their modus operandi possible, and in recent years, researchers have made big strides in identifying several of these chemical cocktails’ most intriguing ingredients. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, "Cone Snails Are Liars and Murderers," 12 Mar. 2021 His modus operandi was to invite unsuspecting women on 'joy rides' in his white Dodge Challenger. Morgan Phillips, Fox News, "Madison Cawthorn facing renewed sexual misconduct allegations from college," 4 Mar. 2021

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

23 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Modus operandi.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for modus operandi

modus operandi


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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