— processual /pro sesh"ooh euhl/ or, esp. Brit, /proh-/ , adj.
/pros"es/ ; esp. Brit. /proh"ses/ , n. , pl. processes /pros"es iz, -euh siz, -euh seez'/ or, esp. Brit., /proh"ses-, proh"seuh-/ , v. , adj.
1. a systematic series of actions directed to some end: to devise a process for homogenizing milk.
2. a continuous action, operation, or series of changes taking place in a definite manner: the process of decay.
a. the summons, mandate, or writ by which a defendant or thing is brought before court for litigation.
b. the whole course of the proceedings in an action at law.
4. Photog. photomechanical or photoengraving methods collectively.
5. Biol. , Anat. a natural outgrowth, projection, or appendage: a process of a bone.
6. the action of going forward or on.
7. the condition of being carried on.
8. course or lapse, as of time.
9. conk 4 (defs. 1, 2).
10. to treat or prepare by some particular process, as in manufacturing.
11. to handle (papers, records, etc.) by systematically organizing them, recording or making notations on them, following up with appropriate action, or the like: to process mail.
12. to require (someone) to answer questionnaires, perform various tasks, and sometimes to undergo physical and aptitude classification examinations before the beginning or termination of a period of service: The army processes all personnel entering or leaving the service.
13. to convert (an agricultural commodity) into marketable form by a special process, as pasteurization.
14. to institute a legal process against.
15. to serve a process or summons on.
16. Computers. to carry out operations on (data or programs).
17. conk 4 (def. 3).
18. to undergo the activities involved in processing personnel: The recruits expected to process in four days.
19. prepared or modified by an artificial process: process cheese.
20. noting, pertaining to, or involving photomechanical or photoengraving methods: a process print.
21. Informal. of or pertaining to hair that has been conked.
22. Motion Pictures. created by or used in process cinematography: a moving background on a process screen.
[ 1275-1325; ME proces (n.) ( processus a going forward, equiv. to pro- PRO- 1 + ced-, var. s. of cedere to yield (see CEDE) + - tus suffix of v. action; see CESSION ]
Syn. 1. operation. PROCESS, PROCEDURE, PROCEEDING apply to something that goes on or takes place. A PROCESS is a series of progressive and interdependent steps by which an end is attained: a chemical process. PROCEDURE usually implies a formal or set order of doing a thing, a method of conducting affairs: parliamentary procedure. PROCEEDING (usually pl.) applies to what goes on or takes place on a given occasion or to the records of the occasion: Proceedings of the Royal Academy of Sciences.
Pronunciation . The word PROCESS, an early 14th century French borrowing, has a regularly formed plural that adds -es to the singular. This plural, as in similar words like recesses and successes, has traditionally been pronounced /-iz/ : /pros"es iz, proh"ses-/ or /pros"euh siz, proh"seuh-/ . Recent years have seen the increasing popularity of an /-eez'/ pronunciation for PROCESSES, perhaps by mistaken analogy with such plurals as theses and hypotheses, with which it has no connection. This newer pronunciation is common among younger educated speakers.