Definition of model in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈmɒd(ə)l/


1A three-dimensional representation of a person or thing or of a proposed structure, typically on a smaller scale than the original: a model of St Paul’s Cathedral [as modifier]: a model aeroplane
More example sentences
  • A three-dimensional, scale model of the Abbey grounds will be on display in the local banks over the next few weeks.
  • The scale model of the proposed Sports Village is on display at Leigh Library.
  • They will be encouraged to take part in a design game, which uses large maps and scale models to represent town features.
replica, copy, representation, mock-up, dummy, imitation, double, duplicate, lookalike, reproduction;
toy, miniature, facsimile
replica, toy, miniature, mock-up, dummy, imitation, duplicate, lookalike, reproduction, facsimile;
artificial, fake, make-believe, sham, false, spurious, bogus, counterfeit
informal pretend, phoney
1.1(In sculpture) a figure or object made in clay or wax, to be reproduced in another more durable material: wax models were used by sculptors in the lost wax method of bronze casting
More example sentences
  • The manner in which the leg is cut off at the groin in some of these drawings recalls the ecorche wax models of legs formerly attributed to Michelangelo in the Victoria and Albert Museum.
  • A principal use of wax in sculpture is as an auxiliary material, either for preliminary sketches or for making models to be reproduced in metal.
  • Work on the statue required a total of two years, with eight months devoted to sculpting the clay model.
2A thing used as an example to follow or imitate: the project became a model for other schemes
More example sentences
  • If it isn't a war then we should follow the criminal model and use the laws and rules that have been established to to deal with this.
  • He observes that churches now follow the same corporate models that farms have adopted.
  • This is the first national pilot for the scheme and it is likely other authorities will follow the model in Wiltshire.
prototype, stereotype, archetype, type, version, style;
mould, template, framework, pattern, design, guide, blueprint, paradigm;
sample, example, exemplar
prototypical, prototypal, archetypal, illustrative
2.1A person or thing regarded as an excellent example of a specified quality: as she grew older, she became a model of self-control [as modifier]: he was a model husband and father
More example sentences
  • The hypocrite is a good example for other people, a model of probity and decorum, at least until the truth comes out.
  • Up to the age of 11, my childhood has been a model of textbook perfection.
  • The hospice model of care is now espoused as a model of excellence and has led to a worldwide hospice movement aspiring to deliver high quality care to dying patients.
ideal, paragon, perfect example, specimen, perfect specimen;
personification, embodiment, perfection, acme, the epitome;
French beau idéal, nonpareil, crème de la crème
informal pick of the bunch
ideal, perfect, exemplary, classic, flawless, faultless, consummate, impeccable
2.2An actual person or place on which a specified fictional character or location is based: Preston was the model for Coketown in ‘Hard Times’
More example sentences
  • It has published its first work of fiction and folks in Miami are trying to find out the real-life models for the characters.
  • The boarding school background matched his very closely, and some claim that specific models for each character are known.
  • The actual model is a homemaker and mother of two children now living in the Houston area.
2.3 (the Model) The plan for the reorganization of the Parliamentary army, passed by the House of Commons in 1644-5. See also New Model Army.
3A simplified description, especially a mathematical one, of a system or process, to assist calculations and predictions: a statistical model used for predicting the survival rates of endangered species
More example sentences
  • This is the reason why they develop, as a rule, systems of mathematical models and computational problems.
  • Many studies present mathematical models that describe evolutionary processes involving bacteria.
  • Theoretical chemistry is the study of chemical phenomena with the help of mathematical models and computer calculations.
4A person employed to display clothes by wearing them: Jane was too small to be a model a well-known fashion model
More example sentences
  • Sales means they need a model to display clothes on how they look.
  • A packed house was very appreciative of the fashion displayed and all the models got a great reception.
  • When they were published in magazines, the captions would have named the clothes, not the models; here in the Portrait Gallery the anonymous model becomes the subject.
fashion model, supermodel, mannequin
informal clothes horse
4.1A person employed to pose for an artist, photographer, or sculptor: an artist’s model
More example sentences
  • Only last year, a Royal Academy of Arts touring workshop was not allowed to employ nude models to pose for art students.
  • The artist demands a pose, the model complies; but once the model assumes the pose, the artist must pay attention.
  • You may think it's always going to be interesting to look at a naked person, but many people who try to be artist's models are not very good.
sitter, poser, subject, artist's model, photographic model
5A particular design or version of a product: the company revealed their latest model at the Motor Show
More example sentences
  • This often required that multiple product models be designed and manufactured to meet different national standards.
  • Further questioning revealed that he had never touched any version or model of the product I was calling about!
  • Lately, many equipment makers have unveiled new models designed for broad dairy product applications.
version, type, design, mark, configuration, variety, kind, sort
5.1A garment or a copy of a garment by a well-known designer: strikes have dogged the production of the models
original, original design, exclusive
informal one-off

verb (models, modelling, modelled; US models, modeling, modeled)

[with object]
1Fashion or shape (a three-dimensional figure or object) in a malleable material such as clay or wax: use the icing to model a house
More example sentences
  • The figure was modelled in marble in Italy, and by the time it was ready, so was the new three-storey office building.
  • The figure was modeled directly after an illustration from volume three of Antonio Francesco Gori's Museum Florentinum, published in Florence in 1734.
  • Following a trip to Paris in 1909 and exposure to Aristide Maillol's work, she modeled life-sized figures in stone.
1.1(In drawing or painting) represent so as to appear three-dimensional: the body of the woman to the right is modelled in softer, riper forms
More example sentences
  • The indolently nude woman in the featured painting was in fact modeled by Ingres's first wife.
  • Schematically shaded at its lower and right sides, the golf ball is illusionistically modeled not in the round but in relief, as is often the case with the apples and oranges of Cezanne.
  • A handsome young man, the cheekbones and almost delicate slope of his nose are modeled with deft passages of brush.
2 (model something on/after) Use (a system, procedure, etc.) as an example to follow or imitate: the research method will be modelled on previous work
More example sentences
  • This is costing them too much and they should model their systems on Scottish farms, which are now being broken down into 3 groups.
  • The Socialist Republic of Vietnam came into existence in July 1976 as a communist country modelling its political system after those of the Soviet Union and China.
  • The Opposition might like to recognise that the system it has modelled its approach on - that of England - was dumped last week by the Brits because it is useless.
2.1 (model oneself on) Take (someone admired or respected) as an example to follow or imitate: he models himself on rock legend Elvis Presley
More example sentences
  • She modeled herself on, of all things, another Dame.
  • Of all the obnoxious media-unfriendly celebrities in the world, who do model yourself on?
  • They cannot afford to mock the bands they model themselves on but a bit of tongue-in-cheek humour doesn't go amiss either.
2.2Devise a representation, especially a mathematical one, of (a phenomenon or system): a computer program that can model the behaviour of smoke
More example sentences
  • Roughly speaking, these machines modeled a physical system by mechanical or electrical means.
  • The thermal systems were extensively modelled prior to construction, and, like the shower towers, they are unprecedented in that they are able to be fine tuned post construction.
  • Aspects of biological systems are usefully modeled by manageably small digital programs.
3Display (clothes) by wearing them: the clothes were modelled by celebrities
More example sentences
  • One would think that Asian models would be more suited to model clothes with the Oriental flair.
  • Students and staff will be modelling clothes from more than nine different high street stores at the show.
  • During the second half of the evening casual and funky clothes were modelled as the girls gave everyone ideas for a Saturday night out with a difference.
3.1 [no object] Work as a model by displaying clothes or posing for an artist or sculptor: he’s been modelling for just two weeks
More example sentences
  • Woods has said his girlfriend had done swimsuit modelling, but never posed nude.
  • Rising to her feet she struck a pose; playfully modeling for him.
  • Back in Scotland, she modelled for ten years and worked as a make-up artist before making the break into media.



Pronunciation: /ˈmɒd(ə)lə/
Example sentences
  • Unless the north-west monsoon fails (something global warming modellers don't predict), that water supply is going to remain abundant and reliable.
  • Children and the young at heart had a ball with a great range of fun-filled events including face painters, clowns, balloon modellers and live musicians lined-up to keep them enthralled.
  • A number of institutions and modellers projecting HIV variables and population estimates using different modelling tools have arrived at different conclusions.


Late 16th century (denoting a set of plans of a building): from French modelle, from Italian modello, from an alteration of Latin modulus (see modulus).

  • mould from Middle English:

    The root of mould ‘a hollow container used to give shape to hot material when it cools’ is Latin modulus, source of model (late 16th century) and module (late 16th century). The mould that is a furry growth of fungi is unconnected, and came from a Scandinavian word into late Middle English. The origins of the expression to break the mould, ‘to change to a markedly different way of doing things’, comes from the manufacture of objects cast in moulds. Destroying a mould afterwards ensured that no further copies could be made. The phrase dates from the 1560s and probably comes from a translation of the Italian epic poem Orlando Furioso, written by Ludovico Ariosto in 1532: ‘Nature made him and then broke the mould.’ Mould in the sense ‘earth’ as in leaf mould is a Germanic word found in Old English ( see mole).

Words that rhyme with model

coddle, doddle, noddle, swaddle, toddle, twaddle, waddle

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: model

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