Definition of method in US English:



often method for/of
  • 1A particular form of procedure for accomplishing or approaching something, especially a systematic or established one.

    ‘a method for software maintenance’
    ‘labor-intensive production methods’
    • ‘Try to get one or two methods or techniques that you become proficient at and work on them.’
    • ‘The most crude method is to look at how far a politician has climbed up the greasy pole marked promotion.’
    • ‘The particular virtue of this method was the directness of style it engendered.’
    • ‘Some less final, but highly curious methods have been used in the past to this pragmatic end.’
    • ‘This was unknown to management, and operators often used their own methods to clear it.’
    • ‘When my son was younger and had a temper tantrum, I found the simplest methods were best.’
    • ‘This leads to some necessary tweaking of the rules, such as methods for breaking ties.’
    • ‘It is a useful means of organizing research methods and approaches to data analysis.’
    • ‘Statistics are given in support of this approach for two of the methods evaluated.’
    • ‘Using force is always the last resort and our methods emphasise the safety of young people.’
    • ‘Randomised controlled trials are the best way to assess new methods of management.’
    • ‘The methods used are exactly the same as for a commercial organisation selling a product.’
    • ‘The ultimate logic of this method is automatic writing developed by the surrealists.’
    • ‘The interview is probably the most widely employed method in qualitative research.’
    • ‘After a few minutes of this without a burp I decided to try another tried and tested method.’
    • ‘Infection control methods were put into place at the weekend to try and stop the spread of the virus.’
    • ‘The full power of the law must be brought down on people who practise such methods.’
    • ‘James explained why he though organic methods are being widely practiced in the area.’
    • ‘He had absolute belief in himself and his methods, and wasn't afraid to say so to anybody.’
    • ‘They all have their own agendas and they all have their own methods of attracting attention.’
    • ‘The good news is that the questions seem to be very good, and the testing methods are smooth and easy.’
    • ‘From there we also looked at who we would approach and what methods we would use to make contact.’
    • ‘It could be down to problems with the people or the process, the methods, or the tools.’
    • ‘Driving the ribbon by this method would be opposite to our existing arrangement.’
    • ‘New research claims people are keen to give to charity but are put off by some of the methods employed.’
    • ‘That cut the journey between the two metropolises to just over half an hour by either method.’
    • ‘A much better method is to grab a leg in each hand and pull violently in opposite directions.’
    • ‘Brewers use several methods to produce beers and lagers with low alcohol content.’
    procedure, technique, system, practice, routine, modus operandi, method of working, formula, process, means, medium, mechanism
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Orderliness of thought or behavior; systematic planning or action.
      ‘historical study is the rigorous combination of knowledge and method’
      • ‘I feel that this would be safer than the situation now is with no legal method.’
      • ‘They rarely come close enough for a good photograph unless they are lured in by some method.’
      • ‘The thumb and index finger of the right hand stand for wisdom and method combined.’
      order, orderliness, organization, arrangement, structure, form, system, logic, planning, plan, design, purpose, pattern, routine, discipline
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2often Method
      short for method acting


  • there is method in one's madness

    • There is a sensible foundation for what appears to be foolish or strange behavior.

      • ‘So there is method in my madness, as the saying goes, and I'd appreciate your help in respecting these guidelines.’
      • ‘His tactics appear unconventional at first, but it soon becomes clear that there is method in his madness.’
      • ‘Maybe he knows how to cow the ox with whippings and threats; maybe there is method in his madness.’
      • ‘But there is method in his madness, and intelligence behind the comedy.’
      • ‘Granted, such fare may seem heavy for car snacking, but there is method in our madness.’
      • ‘For those of you who might wonder just how I have sorted these into sections there is method in my madness.’
      • ‘I know I have ranted about this here but I wanted to highlight that there is method in my madness.’
      • ‘Perhaps there is method in their madness and they want me to continue to compete.’
      • ‘Yes, there is method in her madness, a classroom run on an elaborate system of second chances, rewards and discipline.’
      • ‘These aren't just evil thugs, there is method in their madness, despite it seeming repellant to our eyes.’


Late Middle English (in the sense ‘prescribed medical treatment for a disease’): via Latin from Greek methodos ‘pursuit of knowledge’, from meta- (expressing development) + hodos ‘way’.