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 Politics evolves, of course, but there are ways and means that endure and that are essential. Joe Klein, Washington Post, "Nancy Pelosi is an anachronism — in a good way," 8 May 2020 This sort of reëvaluation can happen when events disrupt your life’s habitual ways and means. Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker, "Mortality and the Old Masters," 6 Apr. 2020 Now a half-dozen factions war among the ruins, desperately trying to stake their claim to define the ways and means of the future American Right. The reformocons are not among the warring tribes. Tanner Greer, National Review, "Learning the Wrong Lessons from Reform Conservatism," 17 Mar. 2020 House Speaker Robert DeLeo’s office offered no comment before 7:30 p.m. Attempts to reach the respective chairmen for the House and Senate ways and means committees were not immediately successful Friday evening. BostonGlobe.com, "Governor Charlie Baker on Friday vetoed parts of the state’s supplemental budget concerning automatic voter registration, saying the proposed sections would render the system unavailable for next year’s presidential primary.," 14 Dec. 2019 Very strong memories of thinking of the ways and means of getting rid of British rule. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, "Amartya Sen’s Hopes and Fears for Indian Democracy," 6 Oct. 2019 With the welfare of Mrs. Bayer and her children in mind, friends of the dead officer met yesterday to discuss ways and means of assisting the widow to surmount the situation that confronts her. Scott Harrison, Los Angeles Times, "From the Archives: Oscar Bayer, 1925 shootout hero," 21 Aug. 2019 In response, environmental groups, hitherto quiescent environmental professionals, and more — all Americans who care about the health of our country and our planet — still need to find new ways and means of mobilizing against it, and fast. Christopher Sellers, Vox, "How Republicans came to embrace anti-environmentalism," 6 July 2018 The indoor offerings complement the season by giving you ways and means of escape, through the viewpoint of someone else’s daydreams. Michael Phillips, chicagotribune.com, "10 movies to see in Chicago this summer," 2 May 2018

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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Cite this Entry

“Ways and means.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ways%20and%20means. Accessed 23 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for ways and means

ways and means


English Language Learners Definition of ways and means

somewhat formal : 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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