See more synonyms for model on
  1. a standard or example for imitation or comparison.
  2. a representation, generally in miniature, to show the construction or appearance of something.
  3. an image in clay, wax, or the like, to be reproduced in more durable material.
  4. a person or thing that serves as a subject for an artist, sculptor, writer, etc.
  5. a person whose profession is posing for artists or photographers.
  6. a person employed to wear clothing or pose with a product for purposes of display and advertising.
  7. a style or design of a particular product: His car is last year's model.
  8. a pattern or mode of structure or formation.
  9. a typical form or style.
  10. a simplified representation of a system or phenomenon, as in the sciences or economics, with any hypotheses required to describe the system or explain the phenomenon, often mathematically.
  11. Zoology. an animal that is mimicked in form or color by another.
  1. serving as an example or model: a model home open to prospective buyers.
  2. worthy to serve as a model; exemplary: a model student.
  3. being a small or miniature version of something: He enjoyed building model ships.
verb (used with object), mod·eled, mod·el·ing or (especially British) mod·elled, mod·el·ling.
  1. to form or plan according to a model.
  2. to give shape or form to; fashion.
  3. to make a miniature model of.
  4. to fashion in clay, wax, or the like.
  5. to simulate (a process, concept, or the operation of a system), commonly with the aid of a computer.
  6. to display to other persons or to prospective customers, especially by wearing: to model dresses.
  7. to use or include as an element in a larger construct: to model new data into the forecast.
verb (used without object), mod·eled, mod·el·ing or (especially British) mod·elled, mod·el·ling.
  1. to make models.
  2. to produce designs in some plastic material.
  3. to assume a typical or natural appearance, as the parts of a drawing in progress.
  4. to serve or be employed as a model.

Origin of model

1565–75; earlier modell < Middle French modelle < Italian modello < Vulgar Latin *modellus, equivalent to Latin mod(ulus) (see module) + -ellus -elle
Related formsmod·el·er; especially British, mod·el·ler, nounpre·mod·el, verb (used without object), pre·mod·eled, pre·mod·el·ing or (especially British) pre·mod·elled, pre·mod·el·ling.un·mod·eled, adjectiveun·mod·elled, adjective

Synonyms for model

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Synonym study

1. See ideal. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for model

Contemporary Examples of model

Historical Examples of model

  • One might have been a model for the seraphs of Christian faith, the other an Olympian deity.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • It was jestingly said that the model for the Odeum was from his own head.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • It has also passed a model child-labor law for the District of Columbia.

  • But remember, there is a model which must be taken even before that of your father.

    Life in London

    Edwin Hodder

  • He produced the model of an ingenious contrivance for grinding corn.

    Biographical Sketches

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

British Dictionary definitions for model


    1. a representation, usually on a smaller scale, of a device, structure, etc
    2. (as modifier)a model train
    1. a standard to be imitatedshe was my model for good scholarship
    2. (as modifier)a model wife
  1. a representative form, style, or pattern
  2. a person who poses for a sculptor, painter, or photographer
  3. a person who wears clothes to display them to prospective buyers; mannequin
  4. a preparatory sculpture in clay, wax, etc, from which the finished work is copied
  5. a design or style, esp one of a series of designs of a particular productlast year's model
  6. British
    1. an original unique article of clothing
    2. (as modifier)a model coat
  7. a simplified representation or description of a system or complex entity, esp one designed to facilitate calculations and predictions
  8. logic
    1. an interpretation of a formal system under which the theorems derivable in that system are mapped onto truths
    2. a theory in which a given sentence is true
verb -els, -elling or -elled or US -els, -eling or -eled
  1. to make a model of (something or someone)
  2. to form in clay, wax, etc; mould
  3. to display (clothing and accessories) as a mannequin
  4. to plan or create according to a model or models
  5. to arrange studio lighting so that highlights and shadows emphasize the desired features of a human form or an inanimate object
Derived Formsmodeller or US modeler, noun

Word Origin for model

C16: from Old French modelle, from Italian modello, from Latin modulus, diminutive of modus mode
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 model

1570s, "likeness made to scale; architect's set of designs," from Middle French modelle (16c., Modern French modèle), from Italian modello "a model, mold," from Vulgar Latin *modellus, from Latin modulus "a small measure, standard," diminutive of modus "manner, measure" (see mode (n.1)).

Sense of "thing or person to be imitated" is 1630s. Meaning "motor vehicle of a particular design" is from 1900 (e.g. Model T, 1908; Ford's other early models included C, F, and B). Sense of "artist's model" is first recorded 1690s; that of "fashion model" is from 1904. German, Swedish modell, Dutch, Danish model are from French or Italian.


1660s, "fashion in clay or wax," from model (n.). Earlier was modelize (c.1600). From 1915 in the sense "to act as a fashion model, to display (clothes)." Related: Modeled; modeling; modelled; modelling.


1844, from model (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

model in Science


  1. A systematic description of an object or phenomenon that shares important characteristics with the object or phenomenon. Scientific models can be material, visual, mathematical, or computational and are often used in the construction of scientific theories. See also hypothesis theory.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.