• Something that is representative of all such things in a group.
  • Something that serves to illustrate or explain a rule.
  • Something that serves as a pattern of behaviour to be imitated (a good example) or not to be imitated (a bad example).
  • A person punished as a warning to others.
  • A parallel or closely similar case, especially when serving as a precedent or model.
  • An instance (as a problem to be solved) serving to illustrate the rule or precept or to act as an exercise in the application of the rule.



Similar words


  • From Middle English exaumple, example, from Old French essample (French exemple), from Latin exemplum ("a sample, pattern, specimen, copy for imitation, etc."), from eximō, from ex + emō; see exempt. Displaced native Middle English bisne, forbus from Old English bȳsen, and Middle English byspel from Old English bīspell. exemplum, and sample.

Modern English dictionary

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