Definition of example in English:


Pronunciation /iɡˈzampəl/ /ɪɡˈzæmpəl/

See synonyms for example

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  • 1A thing characteristic of its kind or illustrating a general rule.

    ‘it's a good example of how European action can produce results’
    • ‘some of these carpets are among the finest examples of the period’
    • ‘If any of you can provide me with examples of this character's cretinhood, I will happily publish them.’
    • ‘The strap-ends are decorated with animals and are the largest and among the finest examples from the period.’
    • ‘To establish this, Porter probes both the general context and specific examples.’
    • ‘Such detail is characteristic of the fascinating examples and cases explored in this book.’
    • ‘Noun gender is an example of a more general phenomenon, that of inflection classes.’
    • ‘It was intended only as a general example of how language use and acceptability varies.’
    • ‘He said that this was an example of a general immunity for acts done in the course of litigation.’
    • ‘These are only some illustrative examples from myriad stories and they go back several years.’
    • ‘They provide one of the few examples of true monogamy among the mammals.’
    • ‘Paramesvara gave several illustrative examples of the method in his commentary on the Aryabhatiya.’
    • ‘Some illustrative examples will serve to show the behaviour that is required of law schools by this model.’
    • ‘In these two examples, the character becomes a friend and helper to the hero.’
    • ‘Its definitions are generally supported by examples of usage taken from the corpus.’
    • ‘In spite of his stupidity, or maybe because of it, Goodman is a fine example of a character we love to hate.’
    • ‘Among her examples were bags, picture frames, and wall hangings in a variety of styles and work disciplines.’
    • ‘Bulgarian history also provided some modern examples of architecture and style.’
    • ‘As just one of many examples we already provide care for the frail and vulnerable in our society directly into their homes.’
    • ‘The scenes and stories of people in Africa provide dramatic examples of extreme poverty.’
    • ‘I'm desperately trying to recall examples to illustrate any of this, and completely failing.’
    • ‘What I love about the best bloggers is how they use specific personal examples to illustrate a point.’
    specimen, sample, exemplar, exemplification, instance, case, representative case, typical case, case in point, illustration
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    1. 1.1A printed or written problem or exercise designed to illustrate a rule.
      ‘a workbook and a data set will enable the researcher to follow worked examples’
      • ‘Does anyone of you have some experience in it, and could give some examples of exercises, or rituals?’
      • ‘Try it out on the examples in the exercises, for which a pencil mark will substitute for the peanuts.’
      • ‘Any book on calculus will contain many similar examples and exercises for you to practice.’
      • ‘The mathematician works on and acts on the given examples, following rules implicit in pure intuition.’
      • ‘He provided examples for us to discuss between ourselves and raised some fascinating legal points.’
  • 2A person or thing regarded in terms of their fitness to be imitated or the likelihood of their being imitated.

    ‘it is vitally important that parents should set an example’
    • ‘she followed her brother's example and deserted her family’
    • ‘He then took a serious tone and spoke of the need for leading officials to set an example.’
    • ‘It feels it should set an example by reducing the numbers of cars in the city.’
    • ‘One of the key recommendations was the use of role models to set an example to younger generations.’
    • ‘You are your child's best teacher, so set an example through your own behaviour.’
    • ‘If they can't set an example to their child when they're young then will it really know any better?’
    • ‘Other writers stressed the need for a samurai to set an example to the lower orders of society by his conduct.’
    • ‘Withington said he had to take a stand on the issue to set an example for his boys.’
    • ‘The seniors must set an example to the juniors by their conduct on and off the field.’
    • ‘He is also trying to set an example to every group of workers fighting against low pay.’
    • ‘The Gospel offers both good and bad examples with regard to how this ought to be done.’
    • ‘It uses sporting figures as examples and role models, giving the children someone to relate to.’
    • ‘She was, and remains, one of the finest examples of making it big on one's own terms.’
    • ‘Finally, yes Muslims believe Muhammad is a perfect example for us to try and imitate.’
    • ‘The most key people in setting an example to the next generation are parents and guardians.’
    • ‘What a shining example of the younger generation and their respect for the elderly.’
    • ‘The winners of the awards will be those who provide excellent examples of good youth work practice.’
    • ‘He wished more young people would take a leaf out of his book and follow his example.’
    • ‘Maggie Stratton saw first hand how her example could be followed in our county.’
    • ‘She spoke of her as a very diligent student, a girl who was a good example for all to follow.’
    • ‘We seek to follow the example of Christ who calls us to love our neighbour as ourselves.’
    precedent, lead, guide, model, pattern, blueprint, template, paradigm, exemplar, ideal, standard
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be exampled
  • Be illustrated or exemplified.

    ‘the extent of Allied naval support is exampled by the navigational specialists provided’
    • ‘The crisis in public health delivery with bed shortages, ‘code reds’ where ambulances have been turned away from the emergency ward at Liverpool, and the shortcomings in patient care exampled at Campbelltown Hospital.’
    • ‘Her previous film and video work shows a distinct concern for documentary visual practices and a fascination with ethnographic films, exampled in her 1999 film Facing Forward.’
    • ‘Lest this turn into another lament about the state of our cinemas, let me state that there's nothing terribly wrong with the new breed of venues, perhaps best exampled by the Paramount.’
    • ‘In the most profound show of genius exampled in the drawing, there is, next to the hand on the paper but seemingly miles beyond the hand in perspective, a parabola, a U.’
    • ‘It is concerned with ethics: with examination of his own errors and evasions and - especially significantly - is concerned with them as they are exampled through style, through aesthetics.’
    • ‘Well - they are out there somewhere, as they have always been, and the competitive route exampled by the well-established Donatella Flick jamboree may be one way of finding them.’
    • ‘In the research we have done in the past year we have found some important failures of the industry to offer stable funds for long term ownership as exampled by the 33 year old Permanent Portfolio fund.’
    • ‘If you do not ask the question, other judges, as exampled by this judge, will say, ‘But you, as it were, studiously avoided asking the question that mattered’.’
    • ‘Apparently they brought in 4.7 million last year, but the outgoing cash was minimal as exampled by the 29k for scholarships from their general fund.’
    • ‘The vicarious thrill of teaching the reprobate or rapscallion a thing or two fueled anew the public love affair with the deadly detective, best exampled by S.W.A.T.’
    • ‘Rare started with the underrated Blast Corps, which exampled how well explosions could look on the N64.’
    • ‘We are built this way, and though we might strive for an ideal of non-being as exampled by the perfect servant above, it is against our nature to do so and may be unattainable.’
    • ‘Another synergetic relationship involving a proactive government partner is exampled by prison privatization in the US.’
    • ‘Definitions of pleasure are entirely relative, exampled most evidently by masochism or self destructive tendencies.’
    • ‘Attempts in the past to foster non-argumentative discussion have fail as exampled by the non-debate thread furor.’
    • ‘In what way might equanimity be exampled as important in that respect?’


    make an example of
    • Punish as a warning to others.

      ‘he had been imprisoned so that the air force could make an example of him’
      • ‘One of these days my son is going to turn around and clock S. Of course, DJ will be the one to get suspended, be punished, made an example of.’
      • ‘To this end, one worker has been picked out, made an example of and punished, together with a member of the factory council who was also dismissed without notice.’
      • ‘Whilst I applaud the actions of the Devon Pensioners Action Forum who say they will go to jail rather than pay the massive council tax rises I can only see the outcome ending in tears when they are made an example of by the powers that be.’
      • ‘When such cases do come to court there's often a desire to make an example of someone for the deterrent value this might have on other would-be criminals.’
      • ‘But Lorgun's anger had made his wish to humiliate Bale, to punish him beyond all else, to make an example of what would happen if this uprising were to occur again.’
      • ‘This is the sort of thing I like to make an example of.’
      • ‘And I think that, you know, probably anyone who you make an example of, you are probably going to mistreat in some way.’
      • ‘I know, you're thinking I'm completely crazy, but as far as I'm concerned, she probably didn't do anything that tons of other people haven't and don't do every day, but she got caught and is being made an example of.’
      • ‘It wouldn't take long to get these youths to realise they couldn't carry on causing trouble once people had been made an example of.’
      • ‘‘I know in my mind… that what we did was right and we are being made an example of by a colonel who wants to see a certain MP burned and the rest of us are going down also,’ he wrote.’
      • ‘The professional driver is outraged that he's been made an example of while, he says, the borough's fly tippers get away with dumping van-loads of rubbish on verges, in back alleys, and on country roads.’
      • ‘Teenagers who do this should be made an example of and so they should have been locked up.’
      • ‘The company had been made an example of and the breaches were made by the old company, and there had been no breaches of significance by the new company - certainly none that came to mind.’
      • ‘But base political motives are bound to flow through town seeking out people to blame and the first questioner of these movements tends to be singled out and made an example of.’
      • ‘But if they do catch him I think he should be made an example of and maybe fewer shopkeepers will feel the need to close.’
      • ‘I was fired and made an example of to shut everyone else up.’
      • ‘I think I was made an example of in court and the ball has already started rolling for my appeal.’
      • ‘This was the prudent thing to do but I dare say that had I committed a crime, I would have been arrested and prosecuted and made an example of.’
      • ‘Forgiveness might be something he can hope for in the long term, but in the short term he deserves to be made an example of, and not just by the league in which he plays.’
      • ‘The question on everyone's lips is when someone will be made an example of when he or she is found guilty of abusing public trust for stealing money.’
      • ‘I only hope whoever did this can be caught and made an example of by charging them for the work required to clean up the fountain.’
    for example
    • Used to introduce something chosen as a typical case.

      ‘many, like Helen, for example, come from very poor backgrounds’
      • ‘An astonishing number of people already listen to radio via the net, for example.’
      • ‘There are so many variables, for example interest rates have an effect on demand.’
      • ‘This time last season, for example, Burnley hit a similar run of form having got off to a bad start.’
      • ‘If they are off the road, for example on a grass verge, the district council then has to be notified.’
      • ‘Younger children have to be made aware of what to do, for example, if they lose their parents in a shop.’
      • ‘They could get an extra few quid every time they answered a question directly, for example.’
      • ‘On the other hand helmets may help in preventing a fractured skull for example.’
      • ‘There they have been disguised in many cunning ways, for example inside garden sheds.’
      • ‘The theft of the items could have been subsequent to the murder and not the reason for it, for example.’
      • ‘Some areas, for example Tadworth, will have no bus service at all in any direction.’
      • ‘When a firm is taken over, for example, there is no obligation on the new owner to shore up a fund in deficit.’
      • ‘Credit cards, for example, typically charge some four or five times the cost to the bank.’
      • ‘Japan, for example, bases its prices on a weighted average of prices in other markets.’
      • ‘The average life expectancy, for example, rose in China much more than it did in India.’
      • ‘Take, for example, the shutting of a small girl in a locker by three older girls.’
      • ‘I had been told that less than a quarter of residents under fifty, for example, vote.’
      • ‘For example, generalists are tired of hearing the same old lectures on cardiac failure.’
      • ‘For example, the initial design of a product determines how much of it we need for a given use.’
      • ‘For example, a lead target is bombarded with a beam of accelerated nickel or zinc ions.’


Late Middle English from Old French, from Latin exemplum, from eximere ‘take out’, from ex- ‘out’ + emere ‘take’. Compare with sample.