From Middle English exaumple, example, from Old French essample (French exemple), from Latin exemplum (“a sample, pattern, specimen, copy for imitation, etc.”, literally “what is taken out (as a sample)”), from eximō (“take out”), from ex (“out”) + emō (“buy; acquire”); see exempt. Displaced native Middle English bisne, forbus, forbusen from Old English bȳsen, and Middle English byspel from Old English bīspell. Doublet of exemplum and sample.
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ɪɡˈzɑːmpl̩/
- (General New Zealand) IPA(key): /ɘɡˈzɐːmpɯ/
- (General Australian, US, weak vowel merger) IPA(key): /əɡˈzæmpl̩/
- (US) IPA(key): /ɪɡˈzæmpl̩/
- Rhymes: -ɑːmpəl, -æmpəl
- Hyphenation: ex‧am‧ple
Audio (US) (file)
example (plural examples)
- Something that is representative of all such things in a group.
- 2005 May 23, Gavriel D. Rosenfeld, The World Hitler Never Made: Alternate History and the Memory of Nazism, Cambridge University Press, →ISBN, page 182:
- If Demandt's essay served as a strident example of the German desire for normalcy, a more subtle example was provided by a brief allohistorical depiction of a Nazi victory in World War II written by German historian Michael Salewski in 1999.
- 2013 July 26, Leo Hickman, “How algorithms rule the world”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 189, number 7, page 26:
- The use of algorithms in policing is one example of their increasing influence on our lives. And, as their ubiquity spreads, so too does the debate around whether we should allow ourselves to become so reliant on them – and who, if anyone, is policing their use.
- Something that serves to illustrate or explain a rule.
- 2013 May-June, David Van Tassel, Lee DeHaan, “Wild Plants to the Rescue”, in American Scientist, volume 101, number 3:
- Plant breeding is always a numbers game. […] The wild species we use are rich in genetic variation, […]. In addition, we are looking for rare alleles, so the more plants we try, the better. These rarities may be new mutations, or they can be existing ones that are neutral—or are even selected against—in a wild population. A good example is mutations that disrupt seed dispersal, leaving the seeds on the heads long after they are ripe.
- Something that serves as a pattern of behaviour to be imitated (a good example) or not to be imitated (a bad example).
- Nelson Mandela was an example for many to follow.
- 1818, [Mary Shelley], chapter IV, in Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. […], volume I, London: […] [Macdonald and Son] for Lackington, Hughes, Harding, Mavor, & Jones, OCLC 830979744, page 86:
- Learn from me, if not by my precepts, at least by my example, how dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge, […]
- 1897 December (indicated as 1898), Winston Churchill, chapter IV, in The Celebrity: An Episode, New York, N.Y.: The Macmillan Company; London: Macmillan & Co., Ltd., OCLC 222716698, pages 58–59:
- The Celebrity, by arts unknown, induced Mrs. Judge Short and two other ladies to call at Mohair on a certain afternoon when Mr. Cooke was trying a trotter on the track. […] Their example was followed by others at a time when the master of Mohair was superintending in person the docking of some two-year-olds, and equally invisible.
- A person punished as a warning to others.
- c. 1610–1611, William Shakespeare, “The VVinters Tale”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act IV, scene iv], page 298, column 1:
- […] hang him, hee'le be made an example.
- A parallel or closely similar case, especially when serving as a precedent or model.
- c. 1596, William Shakespeare, “The Life and Death of King Iohn”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act III, scene iv], page 12, column 1:
- Such temperate order in ſo fierce a cauſe, / Doth want example: […]
- 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.
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
- example in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.
- example in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911.