Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

example

[ig-zam-puh l, -zahm-]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. one of a number of things, or a part of something, taken to show the character of the whole: This painting is an example of his early work.
  2. a pattern or model, as of something to be imitated or avoided: to set a good example.
  3. an instance serving for illustration; specimen: The case histories gave carefully detailed examples of this disease.
  4. an instance illustrating a rule or method, as a mathematical problem proposed for solution.
  5. an instance, especially of punishment, serving as a warning to others: Public executions were meant to be examples to the populace.
  6. a precedent; parallel case: an action without example.
verb (used with object), ex·am·pled, ex·am·pling.
  1. Rare. to give or be an example of; exemplify (used in the passive).

Origin of example

1350–1400; Middle English exa(u)mple < Middle French example < Latin exemplum, akin to eximere to take out (ex- ex-1 + emere to buy, orig. take); replacing Middle English exemple < Latin, as above

Synonym study

1. Example, sample, specimen refer to an individual phenomenon taken as representative of a type, or to a part representative of the whole. Example is used of an object, condition, etc., that is assumed to illustrate a certain principle or standard: a good example of baroque architecture. Sample refers to a small portion of a substance or to a single representative of a group or type that is intended to show what the rest of the substance or the group is like: a sample of yarn. Specimen usually suggests that the “sample” chosen is intended to serve a scientific or technical purpose: a blood specimen; zoological specimens. 2. See ideal. 3. See case1.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for example

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Politics, for example, would be less entertaining without it.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • Man followed their example and searched until he found an empty grotto.

    Ancient Man

    Hendrik Willem van Loon

  • That one example, moreover, has been a success as unqualified as undeniable.

    'Tis Sixty Years Since

    Charles Francis Adams

  • How little has been the effect of this example on the conduct of the enemy!

  • Following the example of his predecessor, in 1868, Mr. Gladstone resigned.

    The Grand Old Man

    Richard B. Cook


British Dictionary definitions for example

example

noun
  1. a specimen or instance that is typical of the group or set of which it forms part; sample
  2. a person, action, thing, etc, that is worthy of imitation; patternyou must set an example to the younger children
  3. a precedent, illustration of a principle, or modelan example in a maths book
  4. a punishment or the recipient of a punishment serving or intended to serve as a warningthe headmaster made an example of him
  5. for example as an illustration; for instance
verb
  1. (tr; now usually passive) to present an example of; exemplify

Word Origin

C14: from Old French, from Latin exemplum pattern, from eximere to take out, from ex- 1 + emere to purchase
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

Word Origin and History for example

n.

late 14c., partial re-Latinization of earlier essample, asaumple (mid-13c.), from Old French essemple "sample, model, example, precedent, cautionary tale," from Latin exemplum "a sample," literally "that which is taken out," from eximere "take out, remove" (see exempt (adj.)). Oldest English senses are of "behavior" and "punishment."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with example

example

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

  • About
  • Cookies, Terms, & Privacy
© 2018 Dictionary.com, LLC.