process

1 of 4

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 process (audio)
ˈprō-,
-sə-,
-ˌsēz How to pronounce process (audio)
1
a
: progress, advance
in the process of time
b
: something going on : proceeding
2
a(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
3
a
: 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
5

process

2 of 4

verb (1)

processed; processing; processes

transitive verb

1
a
: to proceed against by law : prosecute
b(1)
: to take out a summons against
(2)
: to serve a summons on
2
a
: 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

3 of 4

adjective

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

4 of 4

verb (2)

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

intransitive verb

chiefly British
: to move in a procession

Example Sentences

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
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
In other words, for a republican, the process of production is as important as its outcome. Win Mccormack, The New Republic, 23 Nov. 2022 The process of returning gifts is also environmentally unfriendly. Julia Jacobo, ABC News, 23 Nov. 2022 This process has been in use since the early 2000s. Jordan Valinsky, CNN, 23 Nov. 2022 The application process for the Black farmer license is the first time the state has accepted applications from prospective medical-marijuana operators since an initial round of licensing more than six years ago. Dara Kam, Sun Sentinel, 22 Nov. 2022 The building process was a labor of love, according to Dr. Peel, with custom finishes imported from around the world. Libertina Brandt, WSJ, 22 Nov. 2022 The application process for the Black farmer license is the first time the state has accepted applications from prospective medical-marijuana operators since an initial round of licensing more than six years ago. Dara Kam, Orlando Sentinel, 21 Nov. 2022 The process of picking out a physical book can be overstimulating and overwhelming. Louryn Strampe, WIRED, 21 Nov. 2022 How was the process of working with director Madison Thomas, laying out your life for the documentary? Jevon Phillips, Los Angeles Times, 21 Nov. 2022
Verb
Elliott commended the strength of his team and staff for coming together and being able to process the shooting. Amir Vera, CNN, 16 Nov. 2022 But the bigger question of just how quickly patients should be able to access medical information, and how soon doctors should be available to help patients process it, continues to plague physicians. Zoya Qureshi, The Atlantic, 15 Nov. 2022 Last for about 4 years To use those long-living whole spices, use a spice mill, coffee grinder, or mortar and pestle to process them just before use. Karla Walsh, Better Homes & Gardens, 7 Oct. 2022 France is an important fuel supplier, able to process more than 1 million barrels of crude a day. Rachel Graham, Fortune, 5 Oct. 2022 Being our best means being able to process and manage our emotions. Clo Johnson, Essence, 5 Oct. 2022 These together would be able to process a much larger number of transactions. Faustine Ngila, Quartz, 2 Oct. 2022 These together would be able to process a much larger number of transactions. Lauren Goode Gideon Lichfield, WIRED, 26 Sep. 2022 The state’s 16 oil refineries, which are able to process some 3.2 million barrels of crude oil a day, make up about 20 percent of the country’s refining capacity. María Luisa Paúl, Washington Post, 16 Sep. 2022
Adjective
Regrind silicone used in the speaker is made by reclaiming and upcycling post-process and post-consumer silicone scraps that might otherwise end up in landfill. Mark Sparrow, Forbes, 4 Oct. 2022 The One Drop has durable sides and a base made from REGRIND Silicone, a material created by reclaiming and upcycling post-process silicone scraps that would otherwise go to waste. Mark Sparrow, Forbes, 19 July 2022 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, 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, 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, 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, 11 Feb. 2020 Knowing that people process things differently and that's OK. Gabe Bergado, Teen Vogue, 13 Sep. 2019 The Google Assistant, for example, can already now process multiple requests at once. Edward C. Baig, USA TODAY, 2 Jan. 2018
Verb
But the bigger question of just how quickly patients should be able to access medical information, and how soon doctors should be available to help patients process it, continues to plague physicians. Zoya Qureshi, The Atlantic, 15 Nov. 2022 The ballpoints might be part of why tabulators couldn't process ballots filled out incorrectly, Jarrett said. Sasha Hupka, The Arizona Republic, 14 Nov. 2022 The system couldn’t process health care service authorizations, improperly denied valid claims and was unable to generate payment information using health care industry standard reporting forms, auditors said. Jenna Portnoy, Washington Post, 28 Oct. 2022 Other moviegoers may have trouble finding escapist pleasure here, given the knotty global issues the movie raises but doesn’t fully process. John Defore, The Hollywood Reporter, 18 Oct. 2022 But Humboldt County is a relatively rural area with a population of only 140,000 people and a power station that cannot process that amount of electricity. Freddy Brewster, Los Angeles Times, 27 Sep. 2022 If any of this information is missing, the school cannot process the application, the release stated. Ed Wittenberg, cleveland, 3 Aug. 2022 For example, many companies still rely on manual systems, using technology that can’t process the ever-growing volume of data companies now have access to. Benjamin Laker, Forbes, 5 July 2022 The grinding gear can’t process certain harder items like avocado pits or walnut shells but can handle small amounts of corn husks, pistachio shells, and sticky products like honey and nut butters. Iona Brannon, Bon Appétit, 15 June 2022 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

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

Verb (2)

back-formation from procession entry 1

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near process

Cite this Entry

“Process.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/process. Accessed 1 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

process 1 of 2

noun

pro·​cess ˈpräs-ˌes How to pronounce process (audio) ˈprōs- How to pronounce process (audio)
-əs
plural processes -ˌes-əz How to pronounce process (audio) -ə-səz How to pronounce process (audio)
-ə-ˌsēz
1
a
: advance entry 2 sense 1
the process of time
b
: something going on
2
a
: a natural continuing action or series of actions or changes
the process of growth
life processes
mental processes
b
: a series of actions or operations leading to a result
a manufacturing process
3
: the carrying on of a legal action
due process of law
4
: a bodily part that sticks out or is conspicuous : outgrowth
a bony process

process

2 of 2

verb

1
: to change or prepare by special treatment
process foods
2
a
: to take care of according to a routine
process people looking for a job
process insurance claims
b
: to take in and organize for use in a variety of ways
computers process data
process information

Medical Definition

process

noun

pro·​cess ˈpräs-ˌes How to pronounce process (audio) ˈprōs- How to pronounce process (audio)
-əs
1
a
: 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

Legal Definition

process

noun

1
: a continuous operation, art, or method especially in manufacture
whoever invents or discovers any new and useful process…may obtain a patent therefor U.S. Code
2
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.

More from Merriam-Webster on process

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