What does example mean?

Definitions for example
ɪgˈzæm pəl, -ˈzɑm-ex·am·ple

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word example.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. example, illustration, instance, representativenoun

    an item of information that is typical of a class or group

    "this patient provides a typical example of the syndrome"; "there is an example on page 10"

  2. model, examplenoun

    a representative form or pattern

    "I profited from his example"

  3. exemplar, example, model, good examplenoun

    something to be imitated

    "an exemplar of success"; "a model of clarity"; "he is the very model of a modern major general"

  4. example, deterrent example, lesson, object lessonnoun

    punishment intended as a warning to others

    "they decided to make an example of him"

  5. case, instance, examplenoun

    an occurrence of something

    "it was a case of bad judgment"; "another instance occurred yesterday"; "but there is always the famous example of the Smiths"

  6. exercise, examplenoun

    a task performed or problem solved in order to develop skill or understanding

    "you must work the examples at the end of each chapter in the textbook"


  1. examplenoun

    Something that is representative of all such things in a group.

  2. examplenoun

    Something that serves to illustrate or explain a rule.

  3. examplenoun

    Something that serves as a pattern of behaviour to be imitated (a good example) or not to be imitated (a bad example).

  4. examplenoun

    A person punished as a warning to others.

  5. examplenoun

    A parallel or closely similar case, especially when serving as a precedent or model.

  6. examplenoun

    An instance (as a problem to be solved) serving to illustrate the rule or precept or to act as an exercise in the application of the rule.

  7. exampleverb

    To be illustrated or exemplified (by)

  8. Etymology: From example, from essample (French: exemple), from exemplum, from eximo, from ex + emo; see exempt. Compare ensample, sample, exemplar. Displaced native Middle English bisne, forbus (from Old English bisen, forebisen) and Middle English byspel (from Old English bispel).

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. EXAMPLEnoun

    Etymology: exemple, French; exemplum, Latin.

    The example and pattern of those his creatures he beheld in all eternity. Walter Raleigh, History of the World.

    So hot a speed, with such advice dispos’d,
    Such temp’rate order in so fierce a course,
    Doth want example. William Shakespeare, King John.

    Let us shew an example to our brethren. Judith viii. 24.

    Taught this by his example, whom I now
    Acknowledge my Redeemer ever blest! John Milton, Parad. Lost.

    Be thou an example of the believers. 1 Tim. iv. 12.

    Sodom and Gomorrah, giving themselves over to fornication, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. Jude vii.

    When virtue is present, men take example at it; and when it is gone, they desire it. Wisd. iv. 2.

    Example is a motive of a very prevailing force on the actions of men. John Rogers, Sermon 4.

    Can we, for example, give the praise of valour to a man, who, seeing his gods prophaned, should want the courage to defend them? John Dryden, Virg. Æn. Dedication.

    My reason is sufficiently convinced both of the truth and usefulness of his precepts: it is to pretend that I have, at least in some places, made examples to his rules. Dryden.

  2. To Exampleverb

    To examplify; to give an instance of.

    Etymology: from the noun.

    The proof whereof I saw sufficiently exampled in these late wars of Munster. Edmund Spenser, State of Ireland.


  1. example

    An example is a specific instance or illustration that is used to demonstrate or explain something, typically used to provide clarity, understanding, or evidence for a concept, idea, or statement. It serves as a representative case that helps to support or emphasize a larger argument or point.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Examplenoun

    one or a portion taken to show the character or quality of the whole; a sample; a specimen

  2. Examplenoun

    that which is to be followed or imitated as a model; a pattern or copy

  3. Examplenoun

    that which resembles or corresponds with something else; a precedent; a model

  4. Examplenoun

    that which is to be avoided; one selected for punishment and to serve as a warning; a warning

  5. Examplenoun

    an instance serving for illustration of a rule or precept, especially a problem to be solved, or a case to be determined, as an exercise in the application of the rules of any study or branch of science; as, in trigonometry and grammar, the principles and rules are illustrated by examples

  6. Exampleverb

    to set an example for; to give a precedent for; to exemplify; to give an instance of; to instance


  1. example

    The name example is reserved by the Internet Engineering Task Force in RFC 2606 as a domain name that may not be installed as a top-level domain in the Domain Name System of the Internet.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Example

    egz-am′pl, n. that which is taken as a specimen of the rest, or as an illustration of the rule, &c.: the person or thing to be imitated or avoided: a pattern: a warning: a former instance.—v.t. to exemplify: to instance.—n. Exam′plar, a pattern, model.—adj. Exam′plary, serving for an example. [O. Fr.,—L. exemplumeximĕre, to take out—ex, out of, emĕre, emptum, to take.]

Editors Contribution

  1. example

    A group of words in an online dictionary created to show the contextual understanding of a word or term.

    This definition is to show the contextual understanding of the intention of the definition.

    Submitted by MaryC on April 21, 2020  

  2. example

    A type of document or template.

    The example document is simple enough to share.

    Submitted by MaryC on March 28, 2020  

Suggested Resources

  1. example

    Song lyrics by example -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by example on the Lyrics.com website.

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'example' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #794

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'example' in Written Corpus Frequency: #1007

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'example' in Nouns Frequency: #191

How to pronounce example?

How to say example in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of example in Chaldean Numerology is: 4

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of example in Pythagorean Numerology is: 4

Examples of example in a Sentence

  1. Abraham Lincoln:

    Let me not be understood as saying that there are no bad laws, nor that grievances may not arise for the redress of which no legal provisions have been made. I mean to say no such thing. But I do mean to say that although bad laws, if they exist, should be repealed as soon as possible, still, while they continue in force, for the sake of example they should be religiously observed.

  2. Mark Twain:

    Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.

  3. Louis D. Brandeis:

    Our government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher. For good or ill, it teaches the whole people by its example.

  4. Nicos Anastasiades:

    In this new round of negotiations we want a solution where ... Cyprus will glow as a shining example of cultural, religious and linguistic example between Christian and Muslim communities.

  5. Biyoo:

    I have heard that the greatest followers make the best leaders - something which has an enormous amount of truth in it. So it safe to say; 'Most times, for you to lead by example, you should first learn to follow an example'.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for example

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