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Origin of process

First recorded in 1275–1325; Middle English proces (noun) (from Old French ), from Latin prōcessus “a going forward,” equivalent to prō-pro-1 + ced-, variant stem of cēdere “to yield” (see cede) + -tus suffix of verbal action; see cession

synonym study for process

1. 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 note for process

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]: /-ɪz/: [pros-es-iz, proh-ses-] /ˈprɒs ɛs ɪz, ˈproʊ sɛs-/ or [pros-uh-siz, proh-suh-]. /ˈprɒs ə sɪz, ˈproʊ sə-/. Recent years have seen the increasing popularity of an [-eez] /-ˌiz/ pronunciation for processes, perhaps by mistaken analogy with such plurals as theses and hypotheses, with which it has no connection. Although this newer pronunciation is increasingly common, it is regarded by some educated speakers as an affectation.


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for process

British Dictionary definitions for process (1 of 2)

/ (ˈprəʊsɛs) /


verb (tr)

Word Origin for process

C14: from Old French procès, from Latin prōcessus an advancing, from prōcēdere to proceed

British Dictionary definitions for process (2 of 2)

/ (prəˈsɛs) /


(intr) to proceed in or as if in a procession

Word Origin for process

C19: back formation from procession
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Medical definitions for process

[ prŏsĕs′, prōsĕs′ ]

n. pl. proc•ess•es (prŏsĕs′ĭz, prōsĕs′-, prŏsĭ-sēz′, prōsĭ-)

A series of actions, changes, or functions bringing about a result.
Advance or progress, as of a disease.
An outgrowth of tissue; a projecting part, as of a bone.

Other words from process

process adj.process v.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.