[ ster-ee-uh-tahyp, steer- ]
See synonyms for: stereotypestereotypedstereotypesstereotyping on

  1. a simplified and standardized conception or image invested with special meaning and held in common by members of a group: Cowboys and Indians are American stereotypes.

  2. a set form; convention: Most important for lexicographers are the idiomatic stereotypes whose meaning cannot be inferred from knowledge of the meanings of the individual items.

  1. Printing.

    • a process, now often replaced by more advanced methods, for making metal printing plates by taking a mold of composed type or the like in papier-mâché or other material and then taking from this mold a cast in type metal.

    • a plate made by this process.

verb (used with object),ster·e·o·typed, ster·e·o·typ·ing.
  1. to characterize or regard as a stereotype: The actor has been stereotyped as a villain.

  2. to give a fixed form to.

  1. Printing. to make a stereotype of.

Origin of stereotype

First recorded in 1790–1800; stereo- + -type

Other words for stereotype

Other words from stereotype

  • ster·e·o·typ·er, ster·e·o·typ·ist, noun
  • ster·e·o·typ·i·cal, ster·e·o·typ·ic [ster-ee-uh-tip-ik, steer-], /ˌstɛr i əˈtɪp ɪk, ˌstɪər-/, adjective

Words Nearby stereotype Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use stereotype in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for stereotype


/ (ˈstɛrɪəˌtaɪp, ˈstɪər-) /

    • a method of producing cast-metal printing plates from a mould made from a forme of type matter in papier-mâché or some other material

    • the plate so made

  1. another word for stereotypy

  1. an idea, trait, convention, etc, that has grown stale through fixed usage

  2. sociol a set of inaccurate, simplistic generalizations about a group that allows others to categorize them and treat them accordingly

    • to make a stereotype of

    • to print from a stereotype

  1. to impart a fixed usage or convention to

Derived forms of stereotype

  • stereotyper or stereotypist, noun
  • stereotypic (ˌstɛrɪə ˈtɪpɪk, ˌstɪər-) or stereotypical, adjective

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

Cultural definitions for stereotype (1 of 2)


A too-simple and therefore distorted image of a group, such as “Football players are stupid” or “The English are cold and unfriendly people.”


A generalization, usually exaggerated or oversimplified and often offensive, that is used to describe or distinguish a group.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.