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

  • n. A small object, usually built to scale, that represents in detail another, often larger object.
  • n. A preliminary work or construction that serves as a plan from which a final product is to be made: a clay model ready for casting.
  • n. Such a work or construction used in testing or perfecting a final product: a test model of a solar-powered vehicle.
  • n. A schematic description of a system, theory, or phenomenon that accounts for its known or inferred properties and may be used for further study of its characteristics: a model of generative grammar; a model of an atom; an economic model.
  • n. A style or design of an item: My car is last year's model.
  • n. One serving as an example to be imitated or compared: a model of decorum. See Synonyms at ideal.
  • n. One that serves as the subject for an artist, especially a person employed to pose for a painter, sculptor, or photographer.
  • n. A person employed to display merchandise, such as clothing or cosmetics.
  • n. Zoology An animal whose appearance is copied by a mimic.
  • transitive v. To make or construct a model of.
  • transitive v. To plan, construct, or fashion according to a model.
  • transitive v. To make conform to a chosen standard: He modeled his manners on his father's.
  • transitive v. To make by shaping a plastic substance: modeled a bust from clay.
  • transitive v. To form (clay, for example) into a shape.
  • transitive v. To display by wearing or posing.
  • transitive v. In painting, drawing, and photography, to give a three-dimensional appearance to, as by shading or highlighting.
  • intransitive v. To make a model.
  • intransitive v. To serve or work as a model.
  • adj. Being, serving as, or used as a model.
  • adj. Worthy of imitation: a model child.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A person who serves as a subject for artwork or fashion, usually in the medium of photography but also for painting or drawing.
  • n. A miniature representation of a physical object.
  • n. A simplified representation used to explain the workings of a real world system or event.
  • n. A style, type, or design.
  • n. The structural design of a complex system.
  • n. A praiseworthy example to be copied, with or without modifications.
  • n. An interpretation function which assigns a truth value to each atomic proposition.
  • n. An interpretation which makes a certain sentence true, in which case that interpretation is called a model of that sentence.
  • n. A particular style, design, or make of a particular product.
  • n. An identifier of a product given by its manufacturer (also called model number).
  • adj. Worthy of being a model; exemplary.
  • v. To display for others to see, especially in regard to wearing clothing while performing the role of a fashion model.
  • v. To use as an object in the creation of a forecast or model.
  • v. To make a miniature model of.
  • v. To create from a substance such as clay.
  • v. To make a model or models.
  • v. To be a model of any kind.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Suitable to be taken as a model or pattern
  • n. A miniature representation of a thing, with the several parts in due proportion; sometimes, a facsimile of the same size.
  • n. Something intended to serve, or that may serve, as a pattern of something to be made; a material representation or embodiment of an ideal; sometimes, a drawing; a plan
  • n. Anything which serves, or may serve, as an example for imitation
  • n. That by which a thing is to be measured; standard.
  • n. Any copy, or resemblance, more or less exact.
  • n. A person who poses as a pattern for an artist.
  • n. A person who is employed to wear clothing for the purpose of advertising or display, or who poses with a product for the same purpose; a mannequin{1}.
  • n. A particular version or design of an object that is made in multiple versions. For many manufactured products, the model name is encoded as part of the model number.
  • n. An abstract and often simplified conceptual representation of the workings of a system of objects in the real world, which often includes mathematical or logical objects and relations representing the objects and relations in the real-world system, and constructed for the purpose of explaining the workings of the system or predicting its behavior under hypothetical conditions.
  • intransitive v. To make a copy or a pattern; to design or imitate forms.
  • transitive v. To plan or form after a pattern; to form in model; to form a model or pattern for; to shape; to mold; to fashion

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A standard for imitation or comparison; anything that serves or may serve as a pattern or type; that with which something else is made to agree in form or character, or which is regarded as a fitting exemplar.
  • n. Specifically
  • n. A detailed pattern of a thing to be made; a representation, generally in miniature, of the parts, proportions, and other details to be copied in a complete production.
  • n. In the fine arts:
  • n. A living person who serves a painter or sculptor as the type of a figure he is painting or modeling, or poses for that purpose during the execution of the work; also, one who poses before a class to serve as an object to be drawn or painted.
  • n. In sculpture, also, an image in clay or plaster intended to be reproduced in stone or metal.
  • n. A canon, such as the sculptural canons of Polycletus and Lysippus, or the fancied rigid canons for the human form in ancient Egypt. See doryphorus and Lysippan.
  • n. A plan or mode of formation or constitution; type shown or manifested; typical form, style or method: as, to build a house on the model of a Greek temple; to form one's style on the model of Addison.
  • n. A mechanical imitation or copy of an object, generally on a miniature scale, designed to show its formation: as, a model of Jerusalem or of Cologne cathedral; a model of the human body.
  • n. Hence An exact reproduction; a facsimile.
  • n. An abbreviated or brief form. See module, 1.
  • Serving as a model.
  • Worthy to serve as a model or exemplar; exemplary: as, a model husband.
  • To form or plan according to a model; make conformable to a pattern or type; construct or arrange in a set manner.
  • To mold or shape on or as on a model; give form to by any means: as, to model a hat on a block; to model a ship; specifically, in drawing or painting, to give an appearance of natural relief to.
  • To make a model of; execute a copy or representation of; imitate in form: as, to model a figure in wax.
  • To make a model or models; especially, in the fine arts, to form a work of some plastic material: as, to model in wax.
  • To take the form of a model; assume a typical or natural appearance, or, in a drawing or painting, an appearance of natural relief.
  • n. See the extract.

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

  • n. a representative form or pattern
  • n. a type of product
  • v. construct a model of
  • n. the act of representing something (usually on a smaller scale)
  • adj. worthy of imitation
  • n. someone worthy of imitation
  • n. a hypothetical description of a complex entity or process
  • n. something to be imitated
  • n. a person who poses for a photographer or painter or sculptor
  • v. create a representation or model of
  • n. representation of something (sometimes on a smaller scale)
  • n. a woman who wears clothes to display fashions
  • v. display (clothes) as a mannequin
  • v. assume a posture as for artistic purposes
  • v. plan or create according to a model or models
  • v. form in clay, wax, etc


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

French modèle, from Italian modello, diminutive of modo, form, from Latin modus, measure, standard; see med- in Indo-European roots.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle French modelle, from Italian modello, from Vulgar Latin modellus, diminutive form of modulus ("measure, standard"), diminutive of modus ("measure"); see mode, and compare module, modulus, mould, mold.



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  • In my college life drawing classes, our instructor always asked the models to derobe. I suspect he meant disrobe. See Free Association.

    February 4, 2008