Definition of exemplary
1a : serving as a patternb : deserving imitation : commendable his courage was exemplary; also : deserving imitation because of excellence they serve exemplary pastries — G. V. Higgins
2 : serving as a warning : monitory given an exemplary punishment
3 : serving as an example, instance, or illustration this story is exemplary of her style
exemplarilyplay \ˌeg-ˌzem-ˈpler-ə-lē\ adverb
exemplarinessplay \ig-ˈzem-plə-rē-nəs\ noun
exemplarityplay \ˌeg-ˌzem-ˈpler-ə-tē\ noun
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Examples of exemplary in a Sentence
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
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
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
as a hospital volunteer you have given exemplary service to your community
armies have traditionally used public execution as an exemplary punishment for the crime of desertion
Recent Examples of exemplary from the Web
The mission of the Chagrin Falls Middle School Students of the Month is to acknowledge and reward students for exemplary performance.
Hessler said his client had an exemplary record as an NOPD officer, without a single sustained use of force complaint in his 25-year career.
Some of those who didn’t make the cut boasted exemplary resumes.
The narrative confronts the role of morality and obligation during wartime, while performing an exemplary feat of storytelling.
By striking with exemplary violence at Burnswark, the emperor may have hoped to claim a quick success and subdue difficult tribes along its northern frontier.
While the reading experience on the Kindle is exemplary, thanks to its highly readable and low-power E Ink display, Google will have many more potential cutomers.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'exemplary'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
Since the 1500s, exemplary has been used in English for things deserving imitation. The word (and its close relatives example and exemplify) derives from the Latin noun exemplum, which means "example." Usage commentators have sometimes warned against using exemplary as if it were simply a synonym of excellent, but clear-cut instances of such usage are hard to come by. When exemplary describes something excellent, as it often does, it almost always carries the further suggestion that the thing described is worthy of imitation.
Origin and Etymology of exemplary
First Known Use: circa 1507
EXEMPLARY Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of exemplary for English Language Learners
: extremely good and deserving to be admired and copied
: serving as an example of something
Seen and Heard
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