[ig-zem-pluh-ree, eg-zuhm-pler-ee]


worthy of imitation; commendable: exemplary conduct.
serving as a warning: an exemplary penalty.
serving as an illustration or specimen; illustrative; typical: The sentences read are exemplary of the style of the essay as a whole.
serving as a model or pattern: The authoritative and exemplary text of the work is in the Bodleian Library at Oxford University.
of, relating to, or composed of exempla, or examples or models: the exemplary literature of the medieval period.

Origin of exemplary

1400–50 for earlier sense “model, exemplar”; 1580–90 for def 1; late Middle English (noun) < Latin exemplāris. See exemplum, -ary
Related formsex·em·pla·ri·ly, adverbex·em·pla·ri·ness, ex·em·plar·i·ty [eg-zuhm-plar-i-tee] /ˌɛg zəmˈplær ɪ ti/, nounnon·ex·em·pla·ry, adjectiveun·ex·em·pla·ry, adjective

Synonyms for exemplary

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for exemplarily

Historical Examples of exemplarily

  • The fevers, “little less than plagues,” that were common in that age carry them off exemplarily by families at a time.


    Alice Meynell

  • How could you brook to go backward, instead of forward, in those duties which you now so exemplarily perform?

    Clarissa, Volume 4 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • To his equals he was condescending; to his inferiors, kind; and to the dear object of his affections, exemplarily tender.

    Eighth Reader

    James Baldwin

  • She immediately took the letter to her husband, and begged him to order the bearer of it to be exemplarily whipped.

  • The king also assured them that, if Holmes had committed any unjust action, he and his officers should be exemplarily punished.

British Dictionary definitions for exemplarily



fit for imitation; modelan exemplary performance
serving as a warning; admonitoryan exemplary jail sentence
representative; typicalan action exemplary of his conduct
Derived Formsexemplarily, adverbexemplariness, noun
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 exemplarily



1580s, "fit to be an example," from Middle French exemplaire, from Latin exemplaris "that serves as an example," from exemplum "example" (see example). Earlier (early 15c.) as a noun meaning "a model of conduct."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper