d) KEY NOUN:
- A means or manner of procedure, especially a regular and systematic way of accomplishing something: a simple method for making a pie crust; mediation as a method of solving disputes. See Usage Note at methodology.
- Orderly arrangement of parts or steps to accomplish an end: random efforts that lack method.
- The procedures and techniques characteristic of a particular discipline or field of knowledge: This field course gives an overview of archaeological method.
- Method A technique of acting in which the actor recalls emotions and reactions from past experience and uses them in identifying with and individualizing the character being portrayed.
Middle English, medical procedure
, from Latin methodus
, from Greek methodos
, pursuit, method
, beyond, after
; see meta-
, way, journeySYNONYMS: method, system, routine, manner, mode, fashion, way
These nouns refer to the plans or procedures followed to accomplish a task or attain a goal. Method
implies a detailed, logically ordered plan: "I do not know of a better method for choosing a presidential nominee" (Harry S. Truman). System
suggests order, regularity, and coordination of methods: "Of generalship, of strategic system . . . there was little or none" (John Morely).
is a habitual, often tiresome method: "The common business of the nation . . . is carried on in a constant routine by the clerks of the different offices" (Tobias Smollett). Manner
emphasize personal or distinctive behavior: a clearly articulated manner of speaking; issuing orders in an arbitrary and abrasive fashion. Mode
often denotes a manner influenced by or arising from tradition or custom: a nomadic mode of life. Way
is the least specific of these terms: "It is absurd to think that the only way to tell if a poem is lasting is to wait and see if it lasts" (Robert Frost).