pro·​ce·​dur·​al | \ prə-ˈsē-jə-rəl How to pronounce procedural (audio) , -ˈsēj-rəl\

Definition of procedural

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: of or relating to procedure especially : of or relating to the procedure used by courts or other bodies administering substantive law



Definition of procedural (Entry 2 of 2)

: a realist crime novel, film, or television drama with a specific focus a courtroom procedural especially : police procedural

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Other Words from procedural


procedurally adverb

Examples of procedural in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Under court procedural rules, that opened him up to cross examination by lawyers for the government and the judge herself. Shelby Holliday, WSJ, "Judge Orders Roger Stone to Avoid Further Comment on Pending Trial," 21 Feb. 2019 But Democrats are exploiting an obscure procedural rule that would allow them to get the vote through by conducting two simple majority votes. Zack Beauchamp, Vox, "New Jersey Democrats have a new gerrymandering plan. It is indefensible — and national Democrats need to stop it.," 14 Dec. 2018 Perry, a former deputy district attorney, is chairman of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s criminal procedural rules committee. Graham Bowley, The Seattle Times, "Bill Cosby, appealing conviction, hires 12th firm and 20th lawyer," 22 Oct. 2018 Getty Images / Everett / HBO Killing Eve was the critical darling of 2018, a dark psychological drama that is somehow also a feminist crime procedural and a workplace comedy, and which plays with storytelling and television form. Amanda Mitchell, Marie Claire, "8 TV Shows Like 'Killing Eve' to Binge If You Can't Wait for Season 2," 17 Jan. 2019 Rather, the objections to Estrada were political and procedural. Fox News, "Levin: Democrats and the judicial confirmation process," 24 Sep. 2018 The officers were later cleared of criminal or procedural wrongdoing. Ryan Martin, Indianapolis Star, "Aaron Bailey family receives $650,000 settlement from Indianapolis," 26 June 2018 While the reviews have similarities to court disputes, there are procedural and legal differences. Susan Decker,, "Judges Criticize Allergan's Use of Mohawk Tribe's Sovereignty," 4 June 2018 By the time legislators develop procedural and strategic skills, they're forced out by term limits. Allison Kite, kansascity, "‘This is a craft. It’s an art’: Missouri lawmakers make case for easing term limits | The Kansas City Star," 4 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Lethal Weapon joins a retooled slate at Fox that focuses on broad comedy and procedurals. Lesley Goldberg, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Lethal Weapon': Seann William Scott Replaces Clayne Crawford for Newly Ordered Season 3," 13 May 2018 Those circumstances led to a second career as a consultant on TV crime procedurals and the occasional, discrete freelance job helping the police with difficult cases. Erik Spanberg, The Christian Science Monitor, "'The Word Is Murder' is Anthony Horowitz at his ambitious best," 15 June 2018 Perrette, who has played beloved forensic specialist Abby Sciuto since the crime procedural was spun off from JAG, finished her run with last week's episode, which featured Abby leaving NCIS after the death of a colleague. Bill Keveney, USA TODAY, "Pauley Perrette says she's been kept 'silent' about leaving 'NCIS,' tweets vaguely of crime," 14 May 2018 This Irish procedural follows a lawyer (Amy Huberman) who discovers that her fiancé is cheating on her and decides to upend her whole life — which includes establishing a new, quirkier law practice. Margaret Lyons, New York Times, "How Much Watching Time Do You Have This Weekend?," 29 Mar. 2018 Thus, most campaigns and congressional offices these days are more tightly scripted than a prime-time crime procedural on CBS. Graham Vyse, The New Republic, "How the Washington Press Fell in Love With John McCain," 25 May 2018 Alan Cumming is the draw in this rote CBS procedural, which gives him a lot of hats to wear and a license to be eccentric. Tim Goodman, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Instinct': TV Review," 16 Mar. 2018 All the elements are there, mostly because CBS knows how to do these efficient procedurals in its sleep. Tim Goodman, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Instinct': TV Review," 16 Mar. 2018 Ryan Murphy's high-class procedural climbed 50 percent among adults 18-49, averaging a 2.7 rating with live-plus-3 Nielsen adds. Michael O'connell, The Hollywood Reporter, "TV Ratings: '911' Premiere Pops With Streaming," 8 Jan. 2018

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


1876, in the meaning defined above


1963, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

14 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for procedural

The first known use of procedural was in 1876

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More Definitions for procedural


pro·​ce·​dur·​al | \ prə-ˈsēj-(ə-)rəl How to pronounce procedural (audio) \

Medical Definition of procedural

: relating to or comprising memory or knowledge concerned with how to manipulate symbols, concepts, and rules to accomplish a task or solve a problem — compare declarative


pro·​ce·​dur·​al | \ prə-ˈsē-jə-rəl How to pronounce procedural (audio) \

Legal Definition of procedural

: of or relating to procedure sentence reversed as result of procedural error in sentencingNational Law Journal — compare substantive

Other Words from procedural

procedurally adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on procedural

Spanish Central: Translation of procedural

Nglish: Translation of procedural for Spanish Speakers

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a flaw that causes the downfall of a hero

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