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

Synonym study

1. See ideal.




the act, art, or profession of a person who models.
the process of producing sculptured form with some plastic material, as clay.
the technique of rendering the illusion of volume on a two-dimensional surface by shading.
the treatment of volume, as the turning of a form, in sculpture.
the representation, often mathematical, of a process, concept, or operation of a system, often implemented by a computer program.
Also called imitation. Psychology. therapy in which a particular behavior is elicited by the observation of similar behavior in others.
Also especially British, mod·el·ling.

Origin of modeling

First recorded in 1575–85; model + -ing1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for modelling

create, design, represent, wear, fashion, pattern, cast, base, plan, carve, mold, sculpt, sport, parade, sit

Examples from the Web for modelling

Contemporary Examples of modelling

Historical Examples of modelling

  • The carving and modelling of many of them were extremely good.

    The Last Voyage

    Lady (Annie Allnutt) Brassey

  • The modelling of the entire figure is instinct with expression.

    Italy, the Magic Land

    Lilian Whiting

  • In them the modelling is less good and the wreaths are more conventional.

    Portuguese Architecture

    Walter Crum Watson

  • The painting is a masterpiece of modelling and soft transparency of light and shade.


    Beatrice Fortescue

  • I ought to get plenty of ideas for my modelling, oughtn't I, Nick?

    The Tragic Muse

    Henry James

British Dictionary definitions for modelling


US modeling


the act or an instance of making a model
the practice or occupation of a person who models clothes
a technique in psychotherapy in which the therapist encourages the patient to model his behaviour on his own



  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
a representative form, style, or pattern
a person who poses for a sculptor, painter, or photographer
a person who wears clothes to display them to prospective buyers; mannequin
a preparatory sculpture in clay, wax, etc, from which the finished work is copied
a design or style, esp one of a series of designs of a particular productlast year's model
  1. an original unique article of clothing
  2. (as modifier)a model coat
a simplified representation or description of a system or complex entity, esp one designed to facilitate calculations and predictions
  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

to make a model of (something or someone)
to form in clay, wax, etc; mould
to display (clothing and accessories) as a mannequin
to plan or create according to a model or models
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 modelling



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.).



also modelling, 1650s, "action of bringing into desired condition," verbal noun from model (v.). Meaning "action of making models" (in clay, wax, etc.) is from 1799. Meaning "work of a fashion model" is from 1941.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

modelling in Medicine




The acquisition of a new skill by observing and imitating that behavior being performed by another individual.
In behavior modification, a treatment procedure in which the therapist models the target behavior which the learner is to imitate.
A continuous process by which a bone is altered in size and shape during its growth by resorption and formation of bone at different sites and rates.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

modelling in Science



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.