process (n.)

early 14c., proces, "fact of being carried on" (as in in process), from Old French proces "a journey; continuation, development; legal trial" (13c.) and directly from Latin processus "a going forward, advance, progress," from past-participle stem of procedere "go forward" (see proceed).

Meaning "course or method of action, continuous action or series of actions or events" is from mid-14c.; sense of "continuous and regular series of actions meant to accomplish some result" (the main modern sense) is from 1620s. Meaning "a projection from the main body of something," especially a natural appendage, is from 1570s. Legal sense of "course of action of a suit at law, the whole of the proceedings in any action at law" is attested from early 14c.; hence due process "fair treatment" at law, considered as a right (mid-15c.).

process (v.1)

1530s, "begin legal action against, summon in a court of law," from French processer "to prosecute," from proces (see process (n.)). Meaning "prepare or treat by special process, subject to special process" is from 1881, from the noun in English. Of persons, "to register and examine," by 1935, in reference to the U.S. Army. Related: Processed; processing.

process (v.2)

"to go in procession," 1814, "A colloquial or humorous back-formation" from procession [OED]. Accent on second syllable. The earlier verb was procession (1540s).

updated on November 22, 2020

Definitions of process from WordNet
process (v.)
subject to a process or treatment, with the aim of readying for some purpose, improving, or remedying a condition;
process cheese
process hair
Synonyms: treat
process (v.)
deal with in a routine way;
process a loan
process the applicants
process (v.)
perform mathematical and logical operations on (data) according to programmed instructions in order to obtain the required information;
The results of the elections were still being processed when he gave his acceptance speech
process (v.)
institute legal proceedings against; file a suit against;
He was warned that the district attorney would process him
Synonyms: action / sue / litigate
process (v.)
march in a procession;
They processed into the dining room
Synonyms: march
process (v.)
shape, form, or improve a material;
process iron
Synonyms: work / work on
process (v.)
deliver a warrant or summons to someone;
He was processed by the sheriff
Synonyms: serve / swear out
process (n.)
a particular course of action intended to achieve a result;
it was a process of trial and error
Synonyms: procedure
process (n.)
(psychology) the performance of some composite cognitive activity; an operation that affects mental contents;
the process of thinking
Synonyms: cognitive process / mental process / operation / cognitive operation
process (n.)
a writ issued by authority of law; usually compels the defendant's attendance in a civil suit; failure to appear results in a default judgment against the defendant;
Synonyms: summons
process (n.)
a mental process that you are not directly aware of;
the process of denial
Synonyms: unconscious process
process (n.)
a natural prolongation or projection from a part of an organism either animal or plant;
a bony process
Synonyms: outgrowth / appendage
process (n.)
a sustained phenomenon or one marked by gradual changes through a series of states;
the process of calcification begins later for boys than for girls
events now in process
Synonyms: physical process
Etymologies are not definitions. From, not affiliated with etymonline.