process

noun
pro·​cess | \ ˈprä-ˌses How to pronounce process (audio) , ˈprō-, -səs How to pronounce process (audio) \
plural processes\ ˈprä-​ˌse-​səz How to pronounce processes (audio) , ˈprō-​ , -​sə-​ , -​ˌsēz How to pronounce processes (audio) \

Definition of process

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1a : progress, advance in the process of time
b : something going on : proceeding
2a(1) : a natural phenomenon marked by gradual changes that lead toward a particular result the process of growth
(2) : a continuing natural or biological activity or function such life processes as breathing
b : a series of actions or operations conducing to an end especially : a continuous operation or treatment especially in manufacture
3a : the whole course of proceedings in a legal action
b : the summons, mandate, or writ used by a court to compel the appearance of the defendant in a legal action or compliance with its orders
4 : a prominent or projecting part of an organism or organic structure a bone process a nerve cell process

process

verb (1)
processed; processing; processes

Definition of process (Entry 2 of 4)

transitive verb

1a : to proceed against by law : prosecute
b(1) : to take out a summons against
(2) : to serve a summons on
2a : to subject to a special process or treatment (as in the course of manufacture or film development)
b(1) : to subject to or handle through an established usually routine set of procedures process insurance claims
(2) : to integrate sensory information received so that an action or response is generated the brain processes visual images relayed from the retina
(3) : to subject to examination or analysis computers process data
c : to work (hair) into a conk

process

adjective

Definition of process (Entry 3 of 4)

1 : treated or made by a special process especially when involving synthesis or artificial modification
2 : made by or used in a mechanical or photomechanical duplicating process
3 : of or involving illusory effects usually introduced during processing of the film

process

verb (2)
pro·​cess | \ prə-ˈses How to pronounce process (audio) \
processed; processing; processes

Definition of process (Entry 4 of 4)

intransitive verb

chiefly British
: to move in a procession

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for process

Synonyms: Noun

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of process in a Sentence

Noun How does the election process work? Learning a foreign language can be a long process. We're remodeling our house. The whole process is expected to take a few months. Breathing and the circulation of blood are life processes. a bony process on the foot
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun That legal designation is a step toward acquiring the property through the state's eminent domain process. Tom Daykin, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Greendale starts process of possibly buying Southridge's former Boston Store to help redevelop troubled mall," 21 Nov. 2020 Rich Lakin, immunization program manager for the state health department, said that even though the vaccine options look promising, wearing masks and social distancing will continue to be crucial through the dissemination process. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Mobile morgues, garage overflow, copper bottle con: News from around our 50 states," 20 Nov. 2020 By law, prisoners cannot be freed through the parole process before their earliest release date. Angie Jackson, Detroit Free Press, "New COVID-19 cases in Michigan's prisons hit all-time high," 20 Nov. 2020 Vanessa Morelan, who runs the clean car grant program at Grid Alternatives Bay Area, a nonprofit, helped walk Katz-Ali through the process. Dustin Gardiner, SFChronicle.com, "‘Silicon Valley dudes buying Teslas’: California struggles to expand electric-car market," 20 Nov. 2020 Most of the changes are expected to sail through the approval process, which includes the White House releasing the final version and publication in the Federal Register. Matthew Brown And Ellen Knickmeyer, chicagotribune.com, "Trump pushes new environmental rollbacks on the way out the door," 19 Nov. 2020 Most of the changes are expected to sail through the approval process, which includes the White House releasing the final version and publication in the Federal Register. Matthew Brown And Ellen Knickmeyer, Star Tribune, "Trump pushes new environmental rollbacks on way out the door," 19 Nov. 2020 While two south shore parades, Minerva and Selena, relocated to Slidell in 1979, the last time parades were canceled in New Orleans, city ordinances would require going through the permitting process. Sara Pagones And Andrew Canulette | Staff Writers, NOLA.com, "North shore Mardi Gras parades still on the schedule, but leaders watching rising coronavirus trends," 19 Nov. 2020 Most of the changes are expected to sail through the approval process, which includes the White House releasing the final version and publication in the Federal Register. Matthew Brown, Anchorage Daily News, "Trump pushes extensive rollbacks of environmental protections on his way out of the White House," 19 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The company argued the plant, which can process nearly 20,000 hogs per day, was a vital market for farmers and critical to the meat supply. Ryan J. Foley, chicagotribune.com, "Tyson suspends Iowa pork plant managers accused of betting on COVID-19 infections," 19 Nov. 2020 The company argued the plant, which can process nearly 20,000 hogs per day, was a vital market for farmers and critical to the meat supply. Arkansas Online, "Tyson suspends Iowa plant managers amid virus betting claim," 19 Nov. 2020 Since August, the bureau had been scrambling to finish the count and process the data in time for Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to deliver it to the president by the statutory deadline of Dec. 31. Washington Post, "Trump unlikely to get census data in time to exclude undocumented from representation," 19 Nov. 2020 One issue apparently was technical: Bureaucracies process data differently in the EU and the U.S., so a lot of the trial information had to be made U.S.-friendly to comply with the FDA requests. Vernon Silver, Bloomberg.com, "The Final Hurdle in the Covid-19 Vaccine Race Is Bureaucracy," 18 Nov. 2020 Watching his character take in and process information is riveting. Mark Kennedy, Star Tribune, "Review: A punk drummer's life upended in 'Sound of Metal'," 17 Nov. 2020 Over the past century, plantations have made way for facilities that process oil, natural gas, and petrochemicals. Popular Science, "In Louisiana’s ‘Cancer Alley,’ a Black community battles an industry that threatens its health—and history," 17 Nov. 2020 Mesquite opened its municipal court in the 1950s, as the city was evolving from a small farming town to a booming suburb, as a way to process city fines and citations. Sarah Bahari, Dallas News, "First Black woman to serve as Mesquite municipal court judge takes the bench," 17 Nov. 2020 Juneau: The city will receive its own machine to process coronavirus tests starting in December, which should lead to a quicker turnaround time for results. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Plasma shortage, fight club, pen pal programs: News from around our 50 states," 17 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective This may have positioned several large cities that chose to pre-process ballots to deliver election results earlier than expected. Clara Hendrickson, Detroit Free Press, "Fact check: Benson's results timeline is not an attempt to steal election from Trump," 4 Nov. 2020 State Democrats and Republicans both agree that local election workers should be allowed to pre-process ballots early. Kristine Phillips, USA TODAY, "'A lot of chaos': Trump's rhetoric, a global pandemic and a tsunami of lawsuits complicate 2020 election," 22 Oct. 2020 The state can’t yet process unemployment claims from independent contractors and the self-employed, even though the federal government has temporarily extended benefits to those workers, St. Louis Public Radio reported. USA TODAY, "Bagpipe-blowing fire chief, Bruce Springsteen-Jon Bon Jovi benefit, chickens go to waste: News from around our 50 states," 15 Apr. 2020 The recent rise of memes seeming to make light of the Wuhan virus or international tensions offers a glimpse into how teenagers learn about and process world events. Nicole Daniels, New York Times, "Do Memes Make the Internet a Better Place?," 11 Feb. 2020 Knowing that people process things differently and that's OK. Gabe Bergado, Teen Vogue, ""Unbelievable" Actor Danielle Macdonald on How the Series Puts an Important Focus on Survivors of Trauma," 13 Sep. 2019 The Google Assistant, for example, can already now process multiple requests at once. Edward C. Baig, USA TODAY, "5G to AR: Here are 7 technologies to watch in 2018," 2 Jan. 2018 People process things differently and at different rates. Richard Asa, chicagotribune.com, "When your ex finds someone new," 31 Aug. 2017 Around 80% of people process language on the left, or the analytical, side of the brain, Dr. Pantelyat says, and everyone processes music on both sides of the brain. Heidi Mitchell, WSJ, "Does Listening to Music Improve Your Focus?," 26 July 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The farmers could be forced to destroy hogs with nowhere to process them, and Triumph would lose the sale of the pork. USA Today, "‘They think workers are like dogs.’ How pork plant execs sacrificed safety for profits.," 12 Nov. 2020 Many small hospitals and vaccine distribution sites, like pharmacies, don’t have freezers that get that cold, so the state or larger hospitals will need to process them. Emily Woodruff, NOLA.com, "A promising coronavirus vaccine is on the horizon. Who will get it first in Louisiana?," 11 Nov. 2020 Under the state’s rules, election officials could not begin to process them until Tuesday. Amy Davidson Sorkin, The New Yorker, "Trump’s Brief Speech from the White House Made America’s Troubles Worse," 4 Nov. 2020 But a person still has to remove the mail, separate it into pieces if needed, and then actually process it. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "When Will We Actually Know the Results of the Election?," 3 Nov. 2020 Investigators then learned the shooting had taken place at 308 Gamma Street and began to process that scene. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al, "Woman arrested in Birmingham slaying previously thought to be justified," 2 Nov. 2020 Deputies who came to investigate the dead body had to wait until the fire was contained to process the scene, according to a news release. Sara Tabin, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Tooele fire homicide victim identified," 30 Oct. 2020 Of that, 88 percent went to nations lacking adequate resources to properly manage and process it. Laura Parker, National Geographic, "U.S. generates more plastic trash than any other nation, report finds," 30 Oct. 2020 But registrars also have the option to process them early, opening the second envelope and running the ballot through a voting machine. Washington Post, "Virginia voting guide: What to know about early voting, mail-in ballots," 27 Oct. 2020

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

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb (1)

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adjective

1888, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb (2)

1814, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for process

Noun

Middle English proces, from Anglo-French procés, from Latin processus, from procedere

Verb (2)

back-formation from procession entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about process

Time Traveler for process

Time Traveler

The first known use of process was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for process

Last Updated

24 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Process.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/process. Accessed 28 Nov. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for process

process

noun
How to pronounce process (audio) How to pronounce process (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of process

: a series of actions that produce something or that lead to a particular result
: a series of changes that happen naturally
medical : something that sticks out of something else

process

noun
pro·​cess | \ ˈprä-ˌses How to pronounce process (audio) , ˈprō- \

Kids Definition of process

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a series of actions, motions, or operations leading to some result the manufacturing process
2 : a series of changes that occur naturally the growth process

process

verb
processed; processing

Kids Definition of process (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to change by a special treatment The fruit is picked and processed for shipment.
2 : to take care of according to a routine His job is to process insurance claims.
3 : to take in and organize for use Computers process data.

process

noun
pro·​cess | \ ˈpräs-ˌes How to pronounce process (audio) , ˈprōs- How to pronounce process (audio) , -əs \

Medical Definition of process

1a : a natural progressively continuing operation or development marked by a series of gradual changes that succeed one another in a relatively fixed way and lead toward a particular result or end the process of growth the process of digestion
b : a natural continuing activity or function such life processes as breathing and the circulation of the blood
2 : a prominent or projecting part of an organism or organic structure a bone process a nerve cell process

Keep scrolling for more

process

noun
pro·​cess | \ ˈprä-ˌses, ˈprō- How to pronounce process (audio) \

Legal Definition of process

1 : a continuous operation, art, or method especially in manufacture whoever invents or discovers any new and useful process…may obtain a patent thereforU.S. Code
b : a means (as a summons) used to compel a defendant to appear in court broadly : a means by which a court acquires or exercises jurisdiction over a person or property — see also mesne process — compare notice, service

Note: In civil procedure, service of a summons on a defendant is considered constitutionally sufficient process, although usually a copy of the complaint must also be provided according to the local rule of procedure.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on process

What made you want to look up process? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

A Thanksgiving Word Quiz

  • a traditional thanksgiving dinner
  • November comes from a word for which of the following numbers?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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