[ ig-zem-pler, -plahr ]
/ ɪgˈzɛm plər, -plɑr /


a model or pattern to be copied or imitated: Washington is the exemplar of patriotic virtue.
a typical example or instance.
an original or archetype: Plato thought nature but a copy of ideal exemplars.
a copy of a book or text.

Nearby words

  1. exegetic,
  2. exegetical,
  3. exegetics,
  4. exemia,
  5. exempla,
  6. exemplarism,
  7. exemplary,
  8. exemplary damages,
  9. exempli causa,
  10. exempli gratia

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. 2019

Examples from the Web for exemplar

British Dictionary definitions for exemplar


/ (ɪɡˈzɛmplə, -plɑː) /


a person or thing to be copied or imitated; model
a typical specimen or instance; example
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