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.

Definitions of example
  1. noun
    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
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    apology, excuse
    a poor example
    exception, outlier
    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
    the most typical example or representative of a type
    a small part of something intended as representative of the whole
    an example regarded as typical of its class
    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
    a small amount (especially of food or wine)
    type of:
    knowledge acquired through study or experience or instruction
  2. noun
    an occurrence of something
    “but there is always the famous example of the Smiths”
    synonyms: case, instance
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    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
  3. noun
    a representative form or pattern
    “I profited from his example
    synonyms: model
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    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
    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
    an example that prefigures or foreshadows what is to come
    a concentrated example of something
    (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
    the first functional model of some new design or product
    type of:
    internal representation, mental representation, representation
    a presentation to the mind in the form of an idea or image
  4. noun
    something to be imitated
    synonyms: exemplar, good example, model
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    beaut, beauty
    an outstanding example of its kind
    pacemaker, pacesetter
    a leading instance in its field
    a model considered worthy of imitation
    an impressive or wonderful example of a particular quality
    type of:
    the idea of something that is perfect; something that one hopes to attain
  5. noun
    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
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    type of:
    a task assigned for individual study
  6. noun
    punishment intended as a warning to others
    “they decided to make an example of him”
    synonyms: deterrent example, lesson, object lesson
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    type of:
    admonition, monition, warning, word of advice
    cautionary advice about something imminent (especially imminent danger or other unpleasantness)
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