Definition of example in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /iɡˈzampəl/


1A thing characteristic of its kind or illustrating a general rule: it’s a good example of how European action can produce results some of these carpets are among the finest examples of the period
More example sentences
  • If any of you can provide me with examples of this character's cretinhood, I will happily publish them.
  • The strap-ends are decorated with animals and are the largest and among the finest examples from the period.
  • To establish this, Porter probes both the general context and specific examples.
specimen, sample, exemplar, exemplification, instance, case, illustration, case in point
1.1A printed or written problem or exercise designed to illustrate a rule.
Example sentences
  • Does anyone of you have some experience in it, and could give some examples of exercises, or rituals?
  • Try it out on the examples in the exercises, for which a pencil mark will substitute for the peanuts.
  • Any book on calculus will contain many similar examples and exercises for you to practice.
2A person or thing regarded in terms of their fitness to be imitated or the likelihood of their being imitated: it is vitally important that parents should set an example she followed her brother’s example and deserted her family
More example sentences
  • He then took a serious tone and spoke of the need for leading officials to set an example.
  • It feels it should set an example by reducing the numbers of cars in the city.
  • One of the key recommendations was the use of role models to set an example to younger generations.
precedent, lead, model, pattern, exemplar, ideal, standard, template, paradigm;
role model, object lesson


(be exampled)
Be illustrated or exemplified: the extent of Allied naval support is exampled by the navigational specialists provided
More example sentences
  • The crisis in public health delivery with bed shortages, ‘code reds’ where ambulances have been turned away from the emergency ward at Liverpool, and the shortcomings in patient care exampled at Campbelltown Hospital.
  • Her previous film and video work shows a distinct concern for documentary visual practices and a fascination with ethnographic films, exampled in her 1999 film Facing Forward.
  • Lest this turn into another lament about the state of our cinemas, let me state that there's nothing terribly wrong with the new breed of venues, perhaps best exampled by the Paramount.



for example

Used to introduce something chosen as a typical case: many, like Helen, for example, come from very poor backgrounds
More example sentences
  • An astonishing number of people already listen to radio via the net, for example.
  • There are so many variables, for example interest rates have an effect on demand.
  • This time last season, for example, Burnley hit a similar run of form having got off to a bad start.
for instance, e.g., by way of illustration, such as, as, like;
in particular, case in point, namely, viz., to wit

make an example of

Punish as a warning to others.
Example sentences
  • One of these days my son is going to turn around and clock S. Of course, DJ will be the one to get suspended, be punished, made an example of.
  • To this end, one worker has been picked out, made an example of and punished, together with a member of the factory council who was also dismissed without notice.
  • Whilst I applaud the actions of the Devon Pensioners Action Forum who say they will go to jail rather than pay the massive council tax rises I can only see the outcome ending in tears when they are made an example of by the powers that be.
warning, caution, lesson, deterrent, admonition;


Late Middle English: from Old French, from Latin exemplum, from eximere 'take out', from ex- 'out' + emere 'take'. Compare with sample.

  • Example goes back to Latin exemplum ‘sample, imitation’, from eximere ‘take out’. Sample (Middle English) comes from the same root via French.

Words that rhyme with example


For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ex·am·ple

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.