example

An example is a particular instance of something that is representative of a group, or an illustration of something that's been generally described.

Example comes from the Latin word for "specimen." If you want an example of mainstream teen fashion, find a 13-year old in a mall. If you set a good example, then you show your peers how they should behave. But if you’re an unrepentant criminal and you keep getting in trouble, a judge might give you a really long prison sentence, as an example to other unrepentant criminals out there.

Primary Meanings of example

1.
n
an item of information that is typical of a class or group
2.
n
a task performed or problem solved in order to develop skill or understanding
3.
n
punishment intended as a warning to others
Full Definitions of example
1

n 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”
Synonyms:
illustration, instance, representative
Types:
show 11 types...
hide 11 types...
apology, excuse
a poor example
exception
an instance that does not conform to a rule or generalization
case in point, precedent
an example that is used to justify similar occurrences at a later time
quintessence
the most typical example or representative of a type
sample
a small part of something intended as representative of the whole
specimen
an example regarded as typical of its class
coupon
a test sample of some substance
cross section
a sample meant to be representative of a whole population
grab sample
a single sample or measurement taken at a specific time or over as short a period as feasible
random sample
a sample grabbed at random
tasting
a small amount (especially of food or wine)
Type of:
information
knowledge acquired through study or experience or instruction

n an occurrence of something

“but there is always the famous example of the Smiths”
Synonyms:
case, instance
Types:
humiliation, mortification
an instance in which you are caused to lose your prestige or self-respect
bit, piece
an instance of some kind
clip, time
an instance or single occasion for some event
Type of:
happening, natural event, occurrence, occurrent
an event that happens

n a representative form or pattern

“I profited from his example
Synonyms:
model
Types:
show 10 types...
hide 10 types...
loadstar, lodestar
something that serves as a model or guide
epitome, image, paradigm, prototype
a standard or typical example
holotype, type specimen
the original specimen from which the description of a new species is made
microcosm
a miniature model of something
archetype, original, pilot
something that serves as a model or a basis for making copies
guide, template, templet
a model or standard for making comparisons
prefiguration
an example that prefigures or foreshadows what is to come
concentrate
a concentrated example of something
imago
(psychoanalysis) an idealized image of someone (usually a parent) formed in childhood
rhythm, speech rhythm
the arrangement of spoken words alternating stressed and unstressed elements
Type of:
internal representation, mental representation, representation
a presentation to the mind in the form of an idea or image

n something to be imitated

Synonyms:
exemplar, good example, model
Types:
show 4 types...
hide 4 types...
beaut, beauty
an outstanding example of its kind
pacemaker, pacesetter
a leading instance in its field
pattern
a model considered worthy of imitation
prodigy
an impressive or wonderful example of a particular quality
Type of:
ideal
the idea of something that is perfect; something that one hopes to attain
2

n 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”
Synonyms:
exercise
Type of:
lesson
a task assigned for individual study
3

n punishment intended as a warning to others

“they decided to make an example of him”
Synonyms:
deterrent example, lesson, object lesson
Type of:
admonition, monition, warning, word of advice
cautionary advice about something imminent (especially imminent danger or other unpleasantness)

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.