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

  • n. One that is worthy of imitation; a model. See Synonyms at ideal.
  • n. One that is typical or representative; an example.
  • n. An ideal that serves as a pattern; an archetype.
  • n. A copy, as of a book.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Exemplary.
  • n. Something fit to be imitated; see ideal and model.
  • n. Something typical or representative of a class; see example.
  • n. A pattern after which others should be made; see archetype.
  • n. A well known usage of a scientific theory.
  • n. A handwritten manuscript used by a scribe to make a handwritten copy; the original copy of what gets multiply reproduced in a copy machine.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Exemplary.
  • n. A model, original, or pattern, to be copied or imitated; a specimen; sometimes; an ideal model or type, as that which an artist conceives.
  • n. A copy of a book or writing.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Serving as an example; exemplary.
  • Conveying a warning; fitted to warn or deter.
  • Pertaining or relating to an example or to examples; containing or constituting an example.
  • n. A model, original, or pattern to be copied or imitated; the idea or image of a thing formed in the mind; an archetype.
  • n. A specimen; a copy, especially a copy of a book or writing.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. something to be imitated


Middle English exemplere, from Late Latin exemplārium, from Latin exemplum, example; see example.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin exemplum, but respelled according to Latin exemplar. (Wiktionary)
From French exemplaire, and its source, Latin exemplāris. (Wiktionary)


  • For those who would like to compare these texts to that of a medieval Dominican Breviary, one is available in digital form here, showing an exemplar from the Czech Republic.

    Fifteenth-Century Dominican Breviary in Digital Form

  • At one extreme, Carver is classified as the exemplar of minimalism.

    Raymond Carver

  • A modern exemplar is Peter Birks, who was the leading unjust enrichment (restitution) scholar in the English speaking world (as well as being a leading scholar on civil law and roman law).


  • And since its primary exemplar is a male rather than a female subject, those implications would seem impossible to ignore.

    The State of Things: Olaudah Equiano and the Volatile Politics of Heterocosmic Desire

  • The next post will be on the second type of similarity-based approach, which are usually called exemplar theories.

    Concepts II: Prototypes

  • The third assumption, which follows from the first, is that every time we attend to a stimulus, we encode it, and thus every attended instance of a stimulus is encoded this is sometimes called the exemplar theory of memory, because it states that all attended exemplars are encoded.

    Archive 2004-12-01

  • 3. The Ramayana is known as an exemplar of devotion in partnership and a manual on how to be a noble leader.

    Spiritual Teachings of the Avatar

  • The most predominant concept of republican government at the time was probably rule by the independently virtuous, of whom the exemplar was the gentleman farmer.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » Whole Lot of Error Going On

  • In the second place, the exemplar is the ideal form present in the divine mind that acts as the formal cause of creatural essences, and from this perspective the veritas of the res is its ontological conformity (Anselm's rectitudo) to its eternal model.

    Hitler's Angel (A Meta Christmas Carol)

  • In the first place, the exemplar is the universal species of the object that the mind obtains by abstraction, on the basis of sensible data.

    Hitler's Angel (A Meta Christmas Carol)


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