exemplum

noun
ex·​em·​plum | \ ig-ˈzem-pləm How to pronounce exemplum (audio) , eg-\
plural exempla\ ig-​ˈzem-​plə How to pronounce exempla (audio) , eg-​ \

Definition of exemplum

1 : example, model an exemplum of heroism
2 : an anecdote or short narrative used to point a moral or sustain an argument

Examples of exemplum in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

In 2013, the Italian playwright Stefano Massini turned this exemplum into The Lehman Trilogy, an epic five-hour play that was adapted and condensed last year by the director Sam Mendes and playwright Ben Power for the National Theatre in London. Sarah Churchwell, The New York Review of Books, "‘The Lehman Trilogy’ and Wall Street’s Debt to Slavery," 11 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'exemplum.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of exemplum

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for exemplum

Latin

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about exemplum

Statistics for exemplum

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for exemplum

The first known use of exemplum was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

More from Merriam-Webster on exemplum

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about exemplum

Comments on exemplum

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

WORD OF THE DAY

formidable, illustrious, or eminent

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!