A stereotype is a preconceived notion, especially about a group of people. Many stereotypes are rooted in prejudice — so you should be wary of them.

You have probably heard stereotypes: commonly held ideas or preconceptions about specific groups. You most often hear about negative stereotypes, but some are positive — the stereotype that tall people are good at basketball, for example. One of many problems with any stereotype is that even if it's true in some cases, it's certainly not true in all cases.

Definitions of stereotype

n a conventional or formulaic conception or image

“regional stereotypes have been part of America since its founding”
Type of:
internal representation, mental representation, representation
a presentation to the mind in the form of an idea or image

v treat or classify according to a mental stereotype

“I was stereotyped as a lazy Southern European”
pigeonhole, stamp
Type of:
assort, class, classify, separate, sort, sort out
arrange or order by classes or categories

Sign up, it's free!

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