[ 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.

"Is" it time for a new quiz? "Are" you ready? Then prove your excellent skills on using "is" vs. "are."
Question 1 of 7
IS and ARE are both forms of which verb?

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. 2022

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