Etymology: Middle English, prescribed treatment, from Latin methodus, from Greek methodos, from meta- + hodos way
Date: 15th century
1. a procedure or process for attaining an object: as
(1) a systematic procedure, technique, or mode of inquiry employed by or proper to a particular discipline or art
(2) a systematic plan followed in presenting material for instruction
(1) a way, technique, or process of or for doing something
(2) a body of skills or techniques
2. a discipline that deals with the principles and techniques of scientific inquiry
a. orderly arrangement, development, or classification ; plan
b. the habitual practice of orderliness and regularity
4. capitalized a dramatic technique by which an actor seeks to gain complete identification with the inner personality of the character being portrayed
method, mode, manner, way, fashion, system mean the means taken or procedure followed in achieving an end. method implies an orderly logical arrangement usually in steps <effective teaching methods>. mode implies an order or course followed by custom, tradition, or personal preference <the preferred mode of transportation>. manner is close to mode but may imply a procedure or method that is individual or distinctive <an odd manner of conducting>. way is very general and may be used for any of the preceding words <has her own way of doing things>. fashion may suggest a peculiar or characteristic way of doing something <rushing about in his typical fashion>. system suggests a fully developed or carefully formulated method often emphasizing rational orderliness <a filing system>.
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.