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American Dictionary of the English Language

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Method


METH'OD, noun [Latin methodus; Gr. with, and way.]

1. A suitable and convenient arrangement of things, proceedings or ideas; the natural or regular disposition of separate things or parts; convenient order for transacting business, or for comprehending any complicated subject. Without method business of any kind will fall into confusion. To carry on farming to advantage, to keep accounts correctly, method is indispensable.

2. Way; manner. Let us know the nature of the disease, and the method of cure.

3. Classification; arrangement of natural bodies according to their common characteristics; as the method of Theophrast; the method of Ray; the Linnean method

In natural arrangements a distinction is sometimes made between method and system. System is an arrangement founded, throughout all its parts, on some one principle. method is an arrangement less fixed and determinate, and founded on more general relations. Thus we say, the natural method and the artificial or sexual system of Linne, though the latter is not a perfect system.