Definition of paradigm in English:


Syllabification: par·a·digm
Pronunciation: /ˈparəˌdīm


  • 1 technical A typical example or pattern of something; a model: there is a new paradigm for public art in this country
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    • Don't get me wrong I can understand having certain rules, methodologies, standards etc, I just don't think these paradigms are a good example.
    • This present campaign is a paradigm of Washington's pattern of accusing others of doing what Washington is planning to do or has already done.
    • He says a creative leap is a new pattern, a new paradigm, a new way of organizing information and energy that has nothing to do with the previous pattern.
    model, pattern, example, exemplar, template, standard, prototype, archetype
  • 1.1A worldview underlying the theories and methodology of a particular scientific subject: the discovery of universal gravitation became the paradigm of successful science
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    • This clash between scientific ideas and paradigms we label science politics.
    • Deism reflected the scientific paradigm of the times in which the world inexorably and thoroughly followed strict mathematical laws of nature.
    • The ID folks are constantly telling us that evolution is failing as a scientific paradigm, and that scientists are jumping ship in droves.
  • 2A set of linguistic items that form mutually exclusive choices in particular syntactic roles: English determiners form a paradigm: we can say “a book” or “his book” but not “a his book.” Often contrasted with syntagm.
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    • In linguistics, a paradigm is a set of systematically alternating items. A paradigm is complementary to a syntagm, which is a set of items used in systematic combination.
  • 2.1(In the traditional grammar of Latin, Greek, and other inflected languages) a table of all the inflected forms of a particular verb, noun, or adjective, serving as a model for other words of the same conjugation or declension.
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    • And of course to do that, you do in fact need to learn all those paradigms of verbs and nouns, the amo, amas, amat stuff.
    • Reformers rejected the teaching of modern languages through grammatical paradigms, specimen sentences, and word lists.
    • Chinese has no case distinctions or gender distinctions in the inflectional paradigm of its third person singular pronoun.


late 15th century: via late Latin from Greek paradeigma, from paradeiknunai 'show side by side', from para- 'beside' + deiknunai 'to show'.

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