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meth·od  audio  (mthd) KEY 

  1. 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.
  2. Orderly arrangement of parts or steps to accomplish an end: random efforts that lack method.
  3. The procedures and techniques characteristic of a particular discipline or field of knowledge: This field course gives an overview of archaeological method.
  4. 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, method, from Greek methodos, pursuit, method : meta-, beyond, after ; see meta- + hodos, way, journey

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). A routine 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 and fashion 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).

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