for example; for the sake of example; such as: Let’s look at some important dates in American history—e.g., July 4, 1776.I collect the works of many poets (e.g., Dickinson, Frost, Angelou).
Sometimes these words and phrases are most familiar as abbreviations—the prime example being etc., which we use every day as a substitute for “and so forth” or “and so on.” Even though etc. is pronounced as if it were spelled out in full ( et cetera ), not everyone realizes that et cetera is in fact the two-word Latin phrase they’re using and that it literally does mean “and the rest.”
While etc. may win the prize for frequency of use, there are two other Latin abbreviations that also are very familiar: e.g. and i.e. Unlike etc., neither e.g. nor i.e. is pronounced as if it were spelled out, but rather just by the initials (the same way you would pronounce a.m. / p.m. or FBI ).
As useful abbreviations go, e.g. and i.e. are a great pair, but the main reason they’re even thought of as a pair is that they are sometimes confused, which is understandable given the absence of Latin in a typical modern education. So let’s have a quick Latin lesson and learn the simple facts about these two abbreviations.
E.g., used as a substitute for the words “for example” or “such as,” is short for the Latin exemplī grātiā, which literally means “for the sake of example.” I.e., used as a substitute for the words “that is,” “that is to say,” or “in other words,” is short for the Latin id est, which literally means “that is.” Now that we’ve got the meanings down, let’s look at some actual usage.
e.g. = “for example”
• If you’re worried about a house full of dog hair, remember there are many nonshedding breeds—e.g., silky terriers, Basenjis, and Lhasa apsos.
• I’ve got no food restrictions, but some things I’d sooner not eat, e.g., oysters.
• The most applauded moments were her soliloquies—e.g., at the end of Scene 1.
i.e. = “that is (to say)” or “in other words”
• Our son’s adorable pound puppy is my favorite breed —i.e., a mutt!
• There’s only one way I don’t like my potatoes prepared, i.e., boiled.
• The critics called the performance “scintillating” and “dazzling”—i.e., they loved it.
Hopefully, the preceding sentences have shown how useful (and very different in meaning) these abbreviations are, but that won’t help someone who wants to use one and can’t at the moment remember which one means what. If all else fails, think of e.g. as the beginning of egsample (not a real word, but one that sounds like example ). That technique may not make you a Latin scholar, but it might help put you on the right track to the right usage!
- e.g. , i.e. (see confusables note at the current entry)
Other definitions for Eg. (2 of 2)
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How to use e.g. in a sentence
Many Obama administration sub-Cabinet positions (e.g. Surgeon General) have gone unfilled because of GOP opposition.If You Think D.C. Is Awful Now, Wait Until Wednesday | Jonathan Alter | November 4, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
E.g., the U.S. Chamber of Commerce spent $136.3 million lobbying in 2012 and $74.7 million in 2013.
Americans get tired of front-runners (see, e.g., Ed Muskie, Ted Kennedy, Gary Hart, and Mario Cuomo).What Hillary Clinton Can Learn From Portugal, Costa Rica, and England in the World Cup | Nathan Daschle | July 1, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Yesterday, e.g., I was interviewed on leadership and global crises during the annual ‘Out on Wall Street’ gathering.Petraeus Will Appear at an Event Featuring the ACORN ‘Pimp’ | Ben Jacobs | May 2, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Generally uses masculine pronouns (e.g., “he” or “his”) or gender neutral pronouns.What Each of Facebook’s 51 New Gender Options Means | Debby Herbenick PhD, Aleta Baldwin | February 15, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Now, said I, why not give us (if miracles are required) one that nobody could doubt—removing a mountain, e.g.?The Posthumous Works of Thomas De Quincey, Vol. 1 (2 vols) | Thomas De Quincey
Again, modal propositions cannot be reduced to the common form by joining the modality to the predicate, and turning, e.g.
A proposition whose subject is an individual name, even if not a proper name, is singular, e.g.
It is merely an accident when general names are names of classes of real objects: e.g.
Like the functions sine and cosine, the elliptic functions have addition theorems, e.g.The New Gresham Encyclopedia | Various
British Dictionary definitions for eg (1 of 3)
British Dictionary definitions for e.g. (2 of 3)
British Dictionary definitions for Eg. (3 of 3)
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
Cultural definitions for e.g.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.