Definition of exemplum in English:

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Pronunciation: /iɡˈzempləm/

noun (plural exempla /-plə/)

An example or model, especially a moralizing or illustrative story.
Example sentences
  • In keeping with his preface to the story, Dioneo's summing up seems deliberately to discourage any reading of the story as an exemplum, much less as a model for relationships between men and women.
  • The odor of public corruption that surrounded the Gasthuis land affair lent it particular force as a moral exemplum.
  • Kent examines popular works read by Florentines of all social levels, including vernacular scrapbooks and miscellanies, poetry, devotional manuals and moral exempla, civic traditions, histories, and ethnographies.


Late 19th century: Latin, literally 'example'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ex·em·plum

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