(1)   A task performed or problem solved in order to develop skill or understanding
"You must work the examples at the end of each chapter in the textbook"
(2)   An item of information that is representative of a type
"This patient provides a typical example of the syndrome"
"There is an example on page 10"
(3)   Something to be imitated
"An exemplar of success"
"A model of clarity"
"He is the very model of a modern major general"
(4)   A representative form or pattern
"I profited from his example"
(5)   Punishment intended as a warning to others
"They decided to make an example of him"
(6)   An occurrence of something
"It was a case of bad judgment"
"Another instance occurred yesterday"
"But there is always the famous example of the Smiths"


From from from from from + ; see exempt. Cf. ensample, sample, exemplar. Displaced native bisne, forbusen, forbus "example, model, template, exemplar" (from bīsen, forebīsen, forebȳsen "example, model, template, exemplar") and byspel "example, proverb" (from bīspel).


  1. Something that is representative of all such things in a group.
  2. Something that serves to illustrate or explain a rule.
  3. Something that serves as a pattern of behaviour to be imitated (a good example) or not to be imitated (a bad example).
    • "Learn from me, if not by my precepts, then at least by my example, how dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge" - Mary Shelley, Frankenstein
  4. A person punished as a warning to others.
  5. A parallel or closely similar case, especially when serving as a precedent or model.
  6. An instance (as a problem to be solved) serving to illustrate the rule or precept or to act as an exercise in the application of the rule.