pro·​ce·​dur·​al | \prə-ˈsē-jə-rəl, -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

Spending bills need 60 votes to clear procedural hurdles in the Senate, where Republicans currently hold only 51 seats. Kristina Peterson, WSJ, "Lawmakers Seek to Minimize Impact of Looming Government Shutdown," 30 Nov. 2018 Following Ford's testimony, the battle over Kavanaugh reached another peak as the Senate voted 51-49 on Friday to push past a procedural hurdle and advance his appointment. Julyssa Lopez, Glamour, "Brett Kavanaugh Has Been Confirmed to the Supreme Court," 6 Oct. 2018 If even one Democrat declines to vote on a nominee when the majority decides to do so, lawmakers are able to force a procedural vote to set up 30 hours of debate before a final vote can take place. Li Zhou, Vox, "Democrats’ very limited options for stopping Mitch McConnell’s judicial onslaught," 14 Nov. 2018 The motion passed 50-48, after Friday's procedural vote came in at 51-49. Christianna Silva, Teen Vogue, "Senate Confirms Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court," 6 Oct. 2018 The procedural crime drama will return for its ninth season on Friday, September 28 at 10 p.m. EST. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "Everything You Should Know About the New Season of 'Blue Bloods'," 3 Aug. 2018 The legislation, pushed by Senator Patrick Toomey, Republican of Pennsylvania, failed to clear a procedural hurdle when the Senate blocked it with a 35-to-62 vote. Washington Post,, "Senate sides with Trump, votes down GOP plan to expand national security oversight," 14 June 2018 The last vote was shot down in December of last year, primarily due to procedural hurdles. Chris Johns, National Geographic, "High Seas Fishing Isn’t Just Destructive—It’s Unprofitable," 6 June 2018 The full Senate could vote on Haspel's confirmation as early as Thursday, according to Senate aides, although that would require cooperation from senators to waive the chamber's procedural hurdles for a quick vote. Daniella Diaz, CNN, "GOP Sen. Jeff Flake says he'll vote 'no' on Trump's pick to lead the CIA," 16 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

5 Dec 2018

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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 \

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 \

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

Comments on procedural

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a nest or breeding place

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