From Middle English example, from Old French essample, from Latin exemplum (“sample, pattern, specimen, copy for imitation, etc.”, literally “what is taken out”); see exempt. Doublet of exemplum and sample. Displaced native Old English bȳsn.
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ɪɡˈzɑːm.pəl/
- (New Zealand) IPA(key): /əɡˈzaːm.pəl/, [ɘɡˈzɐːmpɯ]
- (US) IPA(key): /ɪɡˈzæm.pəl/, [ɪɡˈzɛəmpəɫ]
- (US, General Australian, weak vowel merger) IPA(key): /əɡˈzæm.pəl/
- 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.
- 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), London: […] Robert Barker, […], →OCLC, John 13:15, column 1:
- For I haue giuen you an example, that yee ſhould doe, as I haue done to you.
- 1671, John Milton, “Samson Agonistes, […]”, in Paradise Regain’d. A Poem. In IV Books. To which is Added, Samson Agonistes, London: […] J. M[acock] for John Starkey […], →OCLC, lines 823–824, page 52:
- I gave, thou ſay'ſt, th' example, / I led the way;
- 1818, [Mary Shelley], chapter IV, in Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. […], volume I, London: […] [Macdonald and Son] for Lackington, Hughes, Harding, Mavor, & Jones, →OCLC, 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, 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 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Winters Tale”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act IV, scene iv], page 298, column 1:
- […] hang him, hee'le be made an example.
- 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), London: […] Robert Barker, […], →OCLC, 1 Corinthians 10:6, column 2:
- Now theſe things were our examples, to the intent wee ſhould not luſt after euil things, as they alſo luſted.
- 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 […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [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.
- See also Thesaurus:model
- See also Thesaurus:exemplar
something representative of a group
something serving to explain or illustrate a rule
something serving as a pattern of behaviour
person punished as a warning to others
parallel or closely similar case
instance as a problem to be solved
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
Translations to be checked
example (third-person singular simple present examples, present participle exampling, simple past and past participle exampled)
- To be illustrated or exemplified (by). (Can we add an example for this sense?)
- example in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
- example in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911
- example at OneLook Dictionary Search
- “example”, in Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
- example in Britannica Dictionary
- example in Macmillan Collocations Dictionary
- example in Ozdic collocation dictionary
- example in WordReference English Collocations