Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An example.
  • n. A brief story used to make a point in an argument or to illustrate a moral truth.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An example.
  • n. A story demonstrating a moral point.

Etymologies

Latin; see example.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin exemplum ("example"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Perhaps better suited is the term exemplum, a kind of allegorical story where a particular instance serves to illustrate a general religious theme in a sermon.

    Michael Gilmour: Anne Bronte's Religious Imagination

  • While no one has done a statistical survey, but basing our examination on what I call exemplum analysis, which is in itself telling -- a way of ascertaining truthful aspects of movements in our systems, etc. -- we know that a great majority of the entire population of the country [of] Iran is vehemently against the Islamic Republic.

    Kathleen Wells, J.D.: Dr. Hossein Ziai Says Iran May See Another Revolution

  • While no one has done a statistical survey, but basing our examination on what I call exemplum analysis, which is in itself telling - a way of ascertaining truthful aspects of movements in our systems, etc. - we know that a great majority of the entire population of the country [of] Iran is vehemently against the Islamic Republic.

    AlterNet.org Main RSS Feed

  • The image recorded Morse's own experience of working in Paris, but more boldly offered an exemplum for the edification of his fellow artists and citizens at home.

    Ushering the Old Masters Into the New World

  • Arthur is an exemplum, a negative example of one who did not heed Lady Wisdom's warning.

    Michael Gilmour: Anne Bronte's Religious Imagination

  • But it is simply an exemplum of the distraction personality politics which rages during full-tilt by-election campaigns.

    Archive 2007-07-01

  • If we take Tanenhaus's own biography of Whittaker Chambers as an exemplum of what he's describing, he probably is thinking of something like the Victorian "triple-decker."

    Narrative Nonfiction

  • Soldiers, scorned and suspect in peacetime, suddenly become the highest and unimpeachable exemplum of honor and virtue.

    Gerry Canavan

  • The bacterial flagellum has received attention as an exemplum of biological complexity; however, how this complexity and diversification have been achieved remains rather poorly understood.

    Flagellum evo -- further discussion - The Panda's Thumb

  • “E.g.” means “for example” and comes from the Latin expression exempli gratia, “for the sake of an example,” with the noun exemplum in the genitive to go with gratia in the ablative.

    A Try for Thompson Data at PNAS « Climate Audit

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Comments

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  • JM put in his thumb and pulled out an exemplum and said "What a good boy am I!"

    February 6, 2009