Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

paradigm

play
noun par·a·digm \ˈper-ə-ˌdīm, ˈpa-rə- also -ˌdim\

Simple Definition of paradigm

  • : a model or pattern for something that may be copied

  • : a theory or a group of ideas about how something should be done, made, or thought about

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of paradigm

  1. 1 :  example, pattern; especially :  an outstandingly clear or typical example or archetype

  2. 2 :  an example of a conjugation or declension showing a word in all its inflectional forms

  3. 3 :  a philosophical and theoretical framework of a scientific school or discipline within which theories, laws, and generalizations and the experiments performed in support of them are formulated; broadly :  a philosophical or theoretical framework of any kind

paradigmatic

play \ˌper-ə-dig-ˈma-tik, ˌpa-rə-\ adjective

paradigmatically

play \-ti-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

Examples of paradigm in a sentence

  1. And the paradigm of a thing to be philosophical about is death. —Jim Holt, New York Times Book Review, 15 Feb. 2009

  2. Such problems drive home a critical flaw in the paradigm of energy independence—namely, that energy isn't a zero-sum game anymore. —Paul Roberts, Mother Jones, May/June 2008

  3. That the biomedical paradigm of single cause and single disease was a chimera was well understood by even its most vigorous advocates. —Allan M. Brandt, The Cigarette Century, 2007

  4. Her recent book provides us with a new paradigm for modern biography.

  5. the Freudian paradigm of psychoanalysis

  6. a new study that challenges the current evolutionary paradigm



Origin and Etymology of paradigm

Late Latin paradigma, from Greek paradeigma, from paradeiknynai to show side by side, from para- + deiknynai to show — more at diction


First Known Use: 15th century



Learn More about paradigm


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up paradigm? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to take off or remove

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

confounded-person

Which is a synonym of indolent?

philistine frenetic melancholy lazy
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ