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example    : [ɪgz'æmpəl]
Example \Ex*am"ple\, n. [A later form for ensample, fr. L.
exemplum, orig., what is taken out of a larger quantity, as a
sample, from eximere to take out. See {Exempt}, and cf.
{Ensample}, {Sample}.]
1. One or a portion taken to show the character or quality of
the whole; a sample; a specimen.
[1913 Webster]

2. That which is to be followed or imitated as a model; a
pattern or copy.
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For I have given you an example, that ye should do
as I have done to you. --John xiii.
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I gave, thou sayest, the example; I led the way.
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3. That which resembles or corresponds with something else; a
precedent; a model.
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Such temperate order in so fierce a cause
Doth want example. --Shak.
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4. That which is to be avoided; one selected for punishment
and to serve as a warning; a warning.
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Hang him; he'll be made an example. --Shak.
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Now these things were our examples, to the intent
that we should not lust after evil things, as they
also lusted. --1 Cor. x. 6.
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5. An instance serving for illustration of a rule or precept,
especially a problem to be solved, or a case to be
determined, as an exercise in the application of the rules
of any study or branch of science; as, in trigonometry and
grammar, the principles and rules are illustrated by

Syn: Precedent; case; instance.

Usage: {Example}, {Instance}. The discrimination to be made
between these two words relates to cases in which we
give "instances" or "examples" of things done. An
instance denotes the single case then "standing"
before us; if there be others like it, the word does
not express this fact. On the contrary, an example is
one of an entire class of like things, and should be a
true representative or sample of that class. Hence, an
example proves a rule or regular course of things; an
instance simply points out what may be true only in
the case presented. A man's life may be filled up with
examples of the self-command and kindness which marked
his character, and may present only a solitary
instance of haste or severity. Hence, the word
"example" should never be used to describe what stands
singly and alone. We do, however, sometimes apply the
word instance to what is really an example, because we
are not thinking of the latter under this aspect, but
solely as a case which "stands before us." See
[1913 Webster]

Example \Ex*am"ple\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Exampled}; p. pr. &
vb. n. {Exampling}.]
To set an example for; to give a precedent for; to exemplify;
to give an instance of; to instance. [Obs.] "I may example my
digression by some mighty precedent." --Shak.
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Burke devoted himself to this duty with a fervid
assiduity that has not often been exampled, and has
never been surpassed. --J. Morley.
[1913 Webster]

n 1: an item of information that is typical of a class or group;
"this patient provides a typical example of the syndrome";
"there is an example on page 10" [synonym: {example},
{illustration}, {instance}, {representative}]
2: a representative form or pattern; "I profited from his
example" [synonym: {model}, {example}]
3: something to be imitated; "an exemplar of success"; "a model
of clarity"; "he is the very model of a modern major general"
[synonym: {exemplar}, {example}, {model}, {good example}]
4: punishment intended as a warning to others; "they decided to
make an example of him" [synonym: {example}, {deterrent example},
{lesson}, {object lesson}]
5: 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" [synonym: {case}, {instance},
6: 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" [synonym: {exercise}, {example}]

77 Moby Thesaurus words for "example":
admonishment, admonition, alarm, archetype, as an example,
benchmark, call to mind, case, case in point, caution, caveat,
citation, cite, cite a particular, criterion, cross reference,
cross section, demonstrate, demonstration, deterrent example,
document, emblem, embodiment, exemplar, exempli gratia,
exemplification, exemplify, explanation, exponent, final notice,
final warning, for example, for instance, give a for-instance,
hint, illustrate, illustration, instance, item, itemize, lesson,
little bite, little smack, model, monition, moral, name, norm,
notice, notification, object lesson, particular, particularize,
pattern, prototype, quotation, quote, reference, relevant instance,
representation, representative, sample, specimen, standard, symbol,
taste, taster, threat, tip-off, to illustrate, type,
typical example, typification, ultimatum, verbum sapienti, warning,
warning piece

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