ways and means

plural noun

Definition of ways and means

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

Examples of ways and means in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Councilwoman Tai Adkins, D-4th, chair of the ways and means committee, said the median wage for the city is about $31,000. Carrie Napoleon, chicagotribune.com, 29 Sep. 2021 What was once a relatively static process of lawmakers weighing the state’s ways and means has evolved into a more dynamic approach that, at its best, acknowledges the complexity of California’s challenges and its economy. John Myers, Los Angeles Times, 21 June 2021 Councilor Kenzie Bok, chairwoman of the council’s ways and means committee, emphasized that Boston needs a strong budget for the year ahead, given its economic recovery from the pandemic. BostonGlobe.com, 18 June 2021 Janey has presented a $3.75 billion operating budget and the council’s ways and means committee has already held numerous hearings. BostonGlobe.com, 19 May 2021 Jesus sacrificed his life to shame the ways and means of death. baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, 23 Apr. 2021 The council is expected to send the matter to its ways and means committee, which will host budget hearings and working sessions in the coming weeks. BostonGlobe.com, 14 Apr. 2021 Budget Director Bob Cenname told members of the Baltimore City Council’s ways and means committee in February that the city expects to end the year with a multimillion-dollar deficit. Emily Opilo, baltimoresun.com, 7 Apr. 2021 He was supposed to sit on a joint information technology committee and a joint ways and means subcommittee when the legislature convenes for its 2021 session Tuesday. oregonlive, 12 Jan. 2021

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

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ways and means

way shaft

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Last Updated

6 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Ways and means.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ways%20and%20means. Accessed 29 Nov. 2021.

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More Definitions for ways and means

ways and means


English Language Learners Definition of ways and means

: the methods and tools used for doing something
: a committee in the U.S. House of Representatives that is in charge of taxes, trade issues, government debt, etc.

ways and means

noun plural

Legal Definition of ways and means

1 : methods and resources for raising the necessary revenues for the expenses of a nation or state
2 often capitalized W&M : a legislative committee with jurisdiction over ways and means


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