ways and means

plural noun

: methods and resources for accomplishing something and especially for defraying expenses
often capitalized W&M
: methods and resources for raising the necessary revenues for the expenses of a nation or state
: a legislative committee concerned with this function

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web But the third time might be the charm for MassPack, if the Senate ways and means language wins out. Jon Chesto, BostonGlobe.com, 8 Mar. 2023 But just as the nature of the attacks varies by locale, so do the ways and means of deterring them available to local communities. Brian Handwerk, Smithsonian Magazine, 31 Jan. 2023 The future of art and design is a highly hybrid future that mixes traditional physical expressions of originality and creativity with highly digitalized ways and means of selling art. Mirjana Perkovic, Forbes, 24 June 2021 While Wilco broke new ground for rock and country music in its own ways and means, Trampled is clearing new trails for acoustic and jam-grass acts, redefining the sonics of the string-music world. Garret K. Woodward, Rolling Stone, 31 Oct. 2022 Those interested in watching O’Sullivan’s First Law play out in real time should pay attention to the ways and means of the allegedly bipartisan National Association of Attorneys General, a.k.a. Jack Fowler, National Review, 26 July 2022 Mileak Harper, city controller, said the administration amended the ordinance as requested by the council during a ways and means committee meeting last week. Carrie Napoleon, chicagotribune.com, 16 Feb. 2022 At a lengthy City Hall hearing, Councilor Tania Fernandes Anderson, chair of the council’s ways and means committee that oversees police budget discussions, questioned police officials about high overtime spending. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 12 May 2022 As participating nations emerged from COP26 with an agreement to achieve net-zero by 2050, conversations around the ways and means of achieving this is set to gather steam. Forbes, 3 June 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ways and means.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of ways and means was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near ways and means

Cite this Entry

“Ways and means.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ways%20and%20means. Accessed 1 Apr. 2023.

Legal Definition

ways and means

noun plural
: methods and resources for raising the necessary revenues for the expenses of a nation or state
often capitalized W&M : a legislative committee with jurisdiction over ways and means
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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