make an example of

Punish someone so as to be a warning to others, as in The teacher made an example of the boy she caught cheating, or The judge imposed a tough sentence to make an example of the car thieves. This usage is first recorded in John Wycliffe's followers' translation of the Bible (c. 1382).


Nearby words

  1. make amends,
  2. make an appearance,
  3. make an appointment,
  4. make an ass of,
  5. make an end of,
  6. make an exception,
  7. make an exhibition of oneself,
  8. make an impression,
  9. make arrangements for,
  10. make as if

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