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adjective ex·em·pla·ry \ig-ˈzem-plə-rē\

Simple Definition of exemplary

  • : extremely good and deserving to be admired and copied

  • : serving as an example of something

Full Definition of exemplary

  1. 1 a :  serving as a pattern b :  deserving imitation :  commendable <his courage was exemplary>; also :  deserving imitation because of excellence <they serve exemplary pastries — G. V. Higgins>

  2. 2 :  serving as a warning :  monitory <given an exemplary punishment>

  3. 3 :  serving as an example, instance, or illustration <this story is exemplary of her style>

ex·em·plar·i·ly play \ˌeg-ˌzem-ˈpler-ə-lē\ adverb
ex·em·pla·ri·ness play \ig-ˈzem-plə-rē-nəs\ noun
ex·em·plar·i·ty play \ˌeg-ˌzem-ˈpla-rə-tē\ noun

Examples of exemplary

  1. Each cantina has its own style, but almost all of them share several key traits: uniformed waiters offering exemplary service, a trio of musicians strolling from table to table playing songs on request, lots of men playing dominoes, plenty of good tequila and cold beer, and tasty home-cooked botanas (snacks) served free with each round of drinks. —Chris Humphrey, National Geographic Traveler, September 2008

  2. A few Hollywood couples stayed hitched—Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, 50 years and counting—but such exemplary marriages had less entertainment value than the connubial career of, say, Elizabeth Taylor, eight times wed and divorced, including two volatile turns with Richard Burton. —Richard Corliss, Time, 28 Jan. 2008

  3. Among the most important factors that distinguished the best Civil War regiments from the mediocre ones were the quality and exemplary courage of their officers. —James M. McPherson, New York Review of Books, 6 Oct. 2005

  4. <as a hospital volunteer you have given exemplary service to your community>

  5. <armies have traditionally used public execution as an exemplary punishment for the crime of desertion>

Origin of exemplary

(see exemplar)

First Known Use: circa 1507

Seen and Heard

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February 8, 2016

to clear from accusation or blame

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