mod·​el | \ ˈmä-dᵊl How to pronounce model (audio) \

Definition of model

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a usually miniature representation of something a plastic model of the human heart also : a pattern of something to be made
2a : a type or design of product (such as a car) offers eight new models for next year, including a completely restyled convertible
b : a type or design of clothing girls, self-conscious in their Paris models— Paul Bowles
3 : a system of postulates, data, and inferences presented as a mathematical description of an entity or state of affairs also : a computer simulation (see simulation sense 3a) based on such a system climate models
5 : an example for imitation or emulation his written addresses are models of clearness, logical order, and style— A. B. Noble
6 : one who is employed to display clothes or other merchandise has appeared as a model in ads for swimsuits
7 : a person or thing that serves as a pattern for an artist especially : one who poses for an artist His wife served as the model for many of his paintings.
8 : version sense 2 an experimental model of a bionic arm
9 : a description or analogy used to help visualize something (such as an atom) that cannot be directly observed
10 : structural design a home on the model of an old farmhouse
11 : an organism whose appearance a mimic imitates
13 dialectal British : copy, image
14 obsolete : a set of plans for a building


modeled or modelled; modeling or modelling\ ˈmäd-​liŋ , ˈmä-​dᵊl-​iŋ How to pronounce modelling (audio) \

Definition of model (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to construct or fashion in imitation of a particular model modeled its constitution on that of the U.S.
2a : to shape or fashion in a plastic material modeling figures from clay
b : to produce a representation or simulation (see simulation sense 3a) of using a computer to model a problem
3 : to display by wearing, using, or posing with modeled gowns
4 : to plan or form after a pattern : shape legislative institutions primarily modeled on the English pattern
5 archaic : to make into an organization (such as an army, government, or parish)

intransitive verb

1 : to work or act as a fashion or art model Each contestant modeled in front of the judges.
2 : to design or imitate forms : make a pattern The students are modeling in clay.



Definition of model (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : serving as or capable of serving as a pattern a model student
2 : being a usually miniature representation of something a model airplane

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Other Words from model


modeler or less commonly modeller \ ˈmäd-​lər , ˈmä-​dᵊl-​ər How to pronounce modeller (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for model


model, example, pattern, exemplar, ideal mean someone or something set before one for guidance or imitation. model applies to something taken or proposed as worthy of imitation. a decor that is a model of good taste example applies to a person to be imitated or in some contexts on no account to be imitated but to be regarded as a warning. children tend to follow the example of their parents pattern suggests a clear and detailed archetype or prototype. American industry set a pattern for others to follow exemplar suggests either a faultless example to be emulated or a perfect typification. cited Joan of Arc as the exemplar of courage ideal implies the best possible exemplification either in reality or in conception. never found a job that matched his ideal


model, example, and ideal mean something that serves as guidance or imitation. model is used for a thing or person very worthy of imitation. That school system can be a model for the whole state. example usually means that the person, act, or conduct is likely to be copied, even though this may not always be a good thing. Parents are examples for their children. ideal is used for something, either real or imagined, considered to be the best of its kind that can exist. She is the ideal of beauty.

Examples of model in a Sentence

Noun She's building a model of the Earth for science class. a plastic model of the human heart We've improved on last year's model, making the car safer and easier to control. He bought one of the old 1965 models. We couldn't afford one of the fancy TVs and had to buy the standard model. We've developed a computer model of the economy to predict what will happen in the future. Companies are developing new business models. Verb The faces of the gods were modeled in white stone. They're modeling this year's new spring fashions. She got a job modeling shoes for a catalog company. a fashion model who has angered animal lovers by modeling fur coats Adjective Our university has a model program for training its athletes. why can't you be like your sister, who is such a well-behaved model child?
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Given the direct impacts the AMOC can have on our climate, scientists have been trying to assess its circulatory strength mainly through the use of computer models, a generally reliable tool in climate science. Evan Lubofsky, Wired, "The Atlantic Ocean's 'Conveyor Belt' Stirs Up a Science Fight," 18 Feb. 2020 But there is still hope for the industry in the form of new business models, such as nonprofit newsrooms or those with wealthy private owners, including the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times. Clare Duffy, CNN, "After McClatchy bankruptcy, reporter Julie K. Brown urges Americans to subscribe to local newspapers," 16 Feb. 2020 Neither of these models are listed on the EPA website, yet, so these new range numbers are Tesla estimates. Joey Capparella, Car and Driver, "New Tesla Model S Long Range Plus Claims 390 Miles on a Charge," 15 Feb. 2020 Given Walker’s recent injury history, most of the projection models are understandably conservative on what his 2020 production might look like. Oregon Sports News, oregonlive, "Taijuan Walker is back with the Seattle Mariners: ‘I’m comfortable here’," 15 Feb. 2020 That’s what happened to Apple in 2019 with the release of the XS models, which were rudely rejected by the public, forcing Apple to come up with a new strategy of offering more liberal trade-ins to get people to upgrade. Jefferson Graham, USA TODAY, "Samsung's $1,400 smartphones: What's up with the new sky-high pricing?," 15 Feb. 2020 Total sales of the model in the United States were 771 last year, down 45% from 1,413 in 2018, according to the company. Detroit Free Press, "Coronavirus in China slows FCA production in Europe; plant to restart this month," 14 Feb. 2020 Check out the quick reviews below of our top five gaming laptops, or scroll deeper for more helpful buying info and full reviews of those models plus other high-ranking options. Gabrielle Hondorp, Popular Mechanics, "The 6 Best Gaming Laptops of 2020," 13 Feb. 2020 Mock up ads of young-looking models fashionably holding Juul devices were uncovered by Massachusetts prosecutors, who said the e-cigarette company explicitly targeted teens. Nikki Battiste, CBS News, "Juul bought ad space on Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network, lawsuit claims," 12 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In Brazil, higher temperatures and drought modeled under climate scenarios would likely destroy swaths of cacao trees and significantly decrease yield. Melody Schreiber, The New Republic, "The Challenge of Sustainable Chocolate," 13 Feb. 2020 Experts harnessed spatial modeling techniques to work out the relationship between ahu construction and natural resources on Easter Island, or Rapa Nui. Fox News, "Easter Island discovery: Experts shed new light on the mystery of the civilization’s 'collapse'," 11 Feb. 2020 Louis Nirenberg, a mathematician who explored the complexities of equations commonly used by physicists and engineers, and who shared the 2015 Abel Prize, a top math award modeled after the Nobels, died on Sunday in Manhattan. Kenneth Chang,, "Louis Nirenberg, ‘One of the great mathematicians,’ dies at 94," 1 Feb. 2020 DeRozan grew up in Los Angeles a Kobe fan, modeled his game on Bryant’s and later became his friend and frequent text-message pal. Jeff Mcdonald,, "Spurs moving forward after Kobe Bryant’s death: ‘We have to go out there and play for him’," 28 Jan. 2020 Nearly all modern projects are designed and modelled using 3D tools. Sunny Vohra, Quartz India, "Technology can help India’s real estate sector but no one’s listening," 23 Jan. 2020 In a Big Ten that’s only seen seven road wins across its entire calendar so far, victories away from home — whatever their make and model — are not to be sneered at. Zach Osterman, Indianapolis Star, "Insider: IU's road performance at Nebraska evidence of a team growing, moving forward," 19 Jan. 2020 And modelling suggests the planet would have been a pretty uncomfortable place for quite some time afterwards, with ejecta suspended in the atmosphere blotting out the sun, and acid rain changing the chemical composition of the oceans. The Economist, "Palaeontology What really killed the dinosaurs?," 18 Jan. 2020 Overall, researchers modeled 20 different versions of TOI 700 d, any one—or none—of which could be correct. Jeffrey Kluger, Time, "NASA May Have Found the Goldilocks Planet of Goldilocks Planets: TOI 700 d," 13 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission to the moon was capped off July 16 with the simultaneous launch of 5,000 model rockets outside the U.S. Space and Rocket Center, where the Saturn V moon rockets were born. Ashley Remkus |, al, "11 of the Huntsville metro’s biggest stories of 2019," 25 Dec. 2019 The results came from a quantum computer simulation, but model real materials elsewhere in space. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Pressure Cooking Metals Makes Them Melt Faster," 9 Dec. 2019 New and exciting advancements are approaching quickly with these tiny, model organs. Thiago Arzua, Smithsonian, "Miniature Brains Recently Sent Out Brain Waves for the First Time," 13 Dec. 2019 Bomer plays Jamie Burns, a man thought to be a model citizen of Dorchester. Nick Romano,, "The Sinner season 3 premiere uncovered in new trailer," 12 Dec. 2019 Jassy pitched the company’s new SageMaker Studio product as an all-in-one machine learning model creation kit for coders without a lot of data science chops. Jonathan Vanian, Fortune, "Amazon Touts Machine Learning, ‘Local Zones,’ and A.I. Tool as Cloud Competition Heats Up," 3 Dec. 2019 At the top of the model lineup, the Aviator is available with a plug-in hybrid powertrain that adds more power and some all-electric driving range. Washington Post, "Edmunds compares the 2019 Audi Q7 and 2020 Lincoln Aviator," 13 Nov. 2019 These machines, inspired by real biological processes found in nature, can more closely model chaos because of their capacity to work on nonlinear problems. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Why Is the Three-Body Problem Unsolvable?," 6 Nov. 2019 The Puritans thought women should have babies, raise children, manage household life and model Christian subservience to their husbands. Bridget Marshall, The Conversation, "Most witches are women, because witch hunts were all about persecuting the powerless," 23 Oct. 2019

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

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First Known Use of model


1570, in the meaning defined at sense 14


1613, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 4


1831, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for model

Noun and Verb

Middle French modelle, from Old Italian modello, from Vulgar Latin *modellus, from Latin modulus small measure, from modus

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Time Traveler for model

Time Traveler

The first known use of model was in 1570

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Statistics for model

Last Updated

21 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Model.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for model


How to pronounce model (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of model

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: a usually small copy of something
: a particular type or version of a product (such as a car or computer)
: a set of ideas and numbers that describe the past, present, or future state of something (such as an economy or a business)



English Language Learners Definition of model (Entry 2 of 3)

: to design (something) so that it is similar to something else
: to make a small copy of (something) : to create a model of (something)
: to make something by forming or shaping clay or some other material



English Language Learners Definition of model (Entry 3 of 3)

: deserving to be copied by others : very good or excellent
used to describe something that is a small copy of something larger


mod·​el | \ ˈmä-dᵊl How to pronounce model (audio) \

Kids Definition of model

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a small but exact copy of a thing
2 : a pattern or figure of something to be made
3 : a person who sets a good example Their daughter is a model of politeness.
4 : a person who poses for an artist or photographer
5 : a person who wears and displays garments that are for sale
6 : a special type of a product Our car is a recent model.



Kids Definition of model (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : worthy of being imitated a model student
2 : being a miniature copy a model airplane


modeled or modelled; modeling or modelling

Kids Definition of model (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : to plan or shape after a pattern This sports car is modeled on a racing car.
2 : to make a model of He learned how to model a dog in clay.
3 : to act or serve as a model She was asked to model for an artist.


mod·​el | \ ˈmäd-ᵊl How to pronounce model (audio) \

Medical Definition of model

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a pattern of something to be made : a cast of a tooth or oral cavity
2 : something (as a similar object or a construct) used to help visualize or explore something else (as the living human body) that cannot be directly observed or experimented on — see animal model
3 : a system of postulates, data, and inferences presented as a mathematical description of an entity or state of affairs
modeled or modelled; modeling or modelling\ ˈmäd-​liŋ, -​ᵊl-​iŋ How to pronounce modelling (audio) \

Medical Definition of model (Entry 2 of 2)

: to produce (as by computer) a representation or simulation of

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More from Merriam-Webster on model

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for model

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with model

Spanish Central: Translation of model

Nglish: Translation of model for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of model for Arabic Speakers

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