[ par-uh-dahym, -dim ]
/ ˈpær əˌdaɪm, -dɪm /
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See synonyms for: paradigm / paradigms on Thesaurus.com

  1. a framework containing the basic assumptions, ways of thinking, and methodology that are commonly accepted by members of a scientific community.
  2. such a cognitive framework shared by members of any discipline or group: The company’s business paradigm needs updating for a new generation.
Informal. a general mental model or framework for anything: Their first album completely blew apart my paradigm for what rock music could be.
an example serving as a model for others to imitate; pattern: Pelham Dairy’s 10-year aged cheddar is the paradigm of cheddars.
a typical or representative instance or example: His experimentalism and iconoclastic attitude towards the past make Picasso a paradigm of 20th century painting.
  1. a set of forms all of which contain a particular element, especially the set of all inflected forms based on a single stem or theme.
  2. a display in fixed arrangement of such a set, as boy, boy's, boys, boys'.


This Teacher Helps Explain What "Paradigm Shift" Actually Means

This teacher stopped telling students to put away their phones during class. Why? He underwent what is known as a paradigm shift. A paradigm shift is a dramatic change in a way of thinking or behaving.

There are grammar debates that never die; and the ones highlighted in the questions in this quiz are sure to rile everyone up once again. Do you know how to answer the questions that cause some of the greatest grammar debates?
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Origin of paradigm

First recorded in 1475–85; from Late Latin paradigma “example,” from Greek parádeigma “pattern, model, precedent, example” (derivative of paradeiknýnai “to show side by side, compare”), equivalent to para- preposition and prefix + deik-, root of deiknýnai “to show, bring to light, prove” + -ma noun suffix denoting the result of an action; see para-1, deictic
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use paradigm in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for paradigm

/ (ˈpærəˌdaɪm) /

grammar the set of all the inflected forms of a word or a systematic arrangement displaying these forms
a pattern or model
a typical or stereotypical example (esp in the phrase paradigm case)
(in the philosophy of science) a very general conception of the nature of scientific endeavour within which a given enquiry is undertaken

Derived forms of paradigm

paradigmatic (ˌpærədɪɡˈmætɪk), adjective

Word Origin for paradigm

C15: via French and Latin from Greek paradeigma pattern, from paradeiknunai to compare, from para- 1 + deiknunai to show
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