[ig-zem-pler, -plahr]
See more synonyms for exemplar on Thesaurus.com
  1. a model or pattern to be copied or imitated: Washington is the exemplar of patriotic virtue.
  2. a typical example or instance.
  3. an original or archetype: Plato thought nature but a copy of ideal exemplars.
  4. a copy of a book or text.

Origin of exemplar

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin, variant of exemplāre, noun use of neuter of exemplāris exemplary; replacing Middle English exaumplere < Middle French examplaire < Latin exemplāris
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for exemplar


  1. a person or thing to be copied or imitated; model
  2. a typical specimen or instance; example
  3. a copy of a book or text on which further printings have been based

Word Origin for exemplar

C14: from Latin exemplarium model, from exemplum example
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 exemplar

late 14c., "original model of the universe in the mind of God," later (mid-15c.) "model of virtue," from Old French exemplaire (14c.) and directly from Late Latin exemplarium, from Latin exemplum (see example).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper