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


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

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Cite this Entry

“Exemplum.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exemplum. Accessed 7 Jul. 2020.

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