Meaning of METHOD in English

meth ‧ od S1 W1 AC /ˈmeθəd/ BrE AmE noun

[ Word Family: noun : ↑ method , ↑ methodology ; adjective : ↑ methodical , ↑ methodological ; adverb : ↑ methodically ]

[ Date: 1400-1500 ; Language: Latin ; Origin: methodus , from Greek methodos , from meta- ( ⇨ ↑ meta- ) + hodos 'way' ]

1 . [countable] a planned way of doing something, especially one that a lot of people know about and use:

traditional teaching methods

I think we should try again using a different method.

method of/for (doing) something

Today’s methods of birth control make it possible for a couple to choose whether or not to have a child.

effective methods for the storage and retrieval of information


In everyday English, people usually say a way of doing something rather than a method of doing something:

a secure way of storing information

2 . [uncountable] formal a well-organized and well-planned way of doing something:

There’s no method in the way they do their accounts.

3 . there’s method in/to sb’s madness used to say that even though someone seems to be behaving strangely, there is a sensible reason for what they are doing

• • •


■ verbs

▪ use a method ( also employ a method formal )

Which payment method do you use when travelling?

▪ adopt a method (=start using a new method)

Quite a few companies adopted Japanese business methods.

▪ devise a method (=invent a method)

Scientists have devised a method of recycling contaminated oil.

▪ outline a method (=describe a method in a few words)

This leaflet outlines the methods that are available to you.

■ adjectives

▪ effective/efficient (=giving the result you want)

Some methods are more effective than others.

▪ reliable (=likely to give the result you want)

We need a more reliable method of predicting earthquakes.

▪ suitable

No single method is suitable for all occasions.

▪ a teaching method

Neill had considerable influence over modern teaching methods.

▪ a farming method

Farming methods have changed a lot over the last 100 years.

▪ the usual method

The usual method of investing in a company is by buying shares in it.

▪ the traditional method (=the usual method)

Farmers are being encouraged to return to more traditional methods of farming.

▪ modern methods (=methods used now, but not in the past)

Modern methods of solving crime depend a lot on forensic evidence.

▪ the scientific method (=the usual way of finding out information in science, which involves testing ideas in experiments)

It is sometimes difficult to apply the scientific method to subjects such as sociology or psychology.

▪ an alternative method (=a method that is different than the usual one)

Try to use alternative methods of transport, such as cycling or taking the bus.

• • •


▪ method a way of doing something, especially one that is well known and often used:

You can choose whichever method of payment you prefer.


an environmentally friendly method for treating household waste

▪ way a set of actions that you use in order to do something. Way is more informal than method and is used more often in everyday English:

What’s the best way to remove wine stains?


a new way of treating the disease


There are lots of ways of cooking mushrooms.

▪ means something that you use to do something or achieve something:

Their main means of transport is their car.


E-mail is often the most convenient means of communication.


He looked around for a means of escape.


Education and training are the most efficient means of improving the nation’s economy.

▪ approach a way of dealing with a particular problem or situation, especially a way that has been carefully thought about or planned:

Today’s approach to raising children is very different from 40 years ago.


I think we need to try a different approach.

▪ technique a particular way of doing something, for which you need a skill that has to be learned and practised:

tips on how to improve your exam technique


More patients are surviving thanks to improved surgical techniques.

▪ tactics methods that you use in order to achieve what you want, especially in a game or competition:

There were complaints about police tactics used to clear demonstrators.


The team was discussing tactics for the game.

▪ strategy a set of carefully planned methods for achieving something that is difficult and may take a long time:

our sales strategy


a strategy to reduce the level of teenage smoking

▪ mode formal a particular way of doing something:

For him, painting is just another mode of expression.


You can choose between several different modes of operation.


the most efficient mode of transportation


Withdrawing a child from class is still the preferred mode of providing extra help to that child.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.