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

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 The rapper joined a roster of talent including Lil Nas X and model Paloma Elsesser to launch the gender-neutral line, and even helped Rihanna with a series of campaign videos and interviews promoting the brand. Bianca Betancourt, Harper's BAZAAR, "Rihanna and A$AP Rocky Are Dating, So I Hereby Anoint Them as the World's Hottest Couple," 1 Dec. 2020 One person briefed on Amazon’s plans, but not authorized to discuss them, says the company is using a superconductor model, a similar approach to that used by Google and IBM, among others. Yaacov Benmeleh, Fortune, "Amazon is laying the groundwork for its own quantum computer," 1 Dec. 2020 The alternative is the on-premise contact-center model, where Cisco Systems Inc. and Avaya Inc. are major players, with agents typically working on a company’s data and communication network in a physical office. Sara Castellanos, WSJ, "Amazon Is Beefing Up Its Cloud Call-Center Tools as More Customer-Support Staff Work from Home," 1 Dec. 2020 Swap it out with this gel memory foam model, now 58% off, that features a pillow top, pocketed coils and air ventilation. Lesley Kennedy, CNN Underscored, "The best Wayfair Cyber Monday sales," 30 Nov. 2020 This week’s must-follow account is Parker Kit Hill (@parkerkithill), a 24-year-old artist, model, dancer, and social media star based in Brooklyn, New York. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "How Parker Kit Hill Is Bringing High-Fashion Comedy to TikTok," 29 Nov. 2020 The original all-foam model—which pops up on the page first—is not as comfortable. Medea Giordano, Wired, "Our Favorite Mattress Deals for Black Friday," 29 Nov. 2020 One of the most heavily advertised products during the holiday sales is the Apple Watch, primarily for the entry level Series 3 model, which is available for as low as $119 at Walmart. Jefferson Graham, USA TODAY, "Shopping for an Apple Watch? What you need to know before buying," 29 Nov. 2020 One model used by the CDC projects a death toll of more than 3,000 people a day by the third week of December, when the nation is likely to eclipse 300,000 total deaths since the pandemic began. Washington Post, "A Thanksgiving marked by surging covid-19 cases and questions about a leading vaccine candidate," 27 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb That uncertainty is difficult to model precisely, so many modelers assume that, for the time being at least, those who have been infected are immune. Jill Neimark, Scientific American, "Doing the Touchy Math on Who Should Get a COVID Vaccine First," 20 Nov. 2020 Cawthorn's personal style of evangelism — which appears to be a talking-to-strangers model many Christians, like me, literally never contemplate — doesn't seem terribly winsome. Bonnie Kristian, TheWeek, "American politics is fundamentally unserious about Christianity," 19 Nov. 2020 Whitmer said Republicans have been included in calls in which health experts model cases, hospitalizations and deaths. Arkansas Online, "Michigan governor says she has authority for stay-home order," 16 Nov. 2020 By the mid-2000s, model public health laws had protections for civil liberties folded in. Washington Post, "Epidemics can change our policies; do our policies cause epidemics?," 13 Nov. 2020 And early filming pictures also confirmed that newcomer and current NYU student Savannah Smith, Canadian singer and actress Jordan Alexander, and model Evan Mock are also part of the reboot. Neha Prakash, Marie Claire, "The 'Gossip Girl' Reboot on HBO Max: Everything We Know," 11 Nov. 2020 Into the preelection turmoil comes a useful new analysis from the economists Michael Geruso and Dean Spears of the University of Texas, who study and model presidential elections. Tribune News Service, al, "Analysis: What are the odds of a disputed election? Pretty high," 1 Nov. 2020 This means riders have the option of wearing either regular sneakers or cycling shoes — another option that makes this model more versatile than other similar indoor bikes. Sian Babish,, "Schwinn IC4 review: Can this more affordable exercise bike compete with the Peloton?," 31 Oct. 2020 To descend to the asteroid’s surface, the spacecraft needed to switch to backup navigation software mid-mission, and engineers had to model even the slightest forces that might push OSIRIS-REx off-course, such as the pressure of sunlight itself. National Geographic, "NASA's OSIRIS-REx secures asteroid sample after surprise leak," 29 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective After the country won praise for a model response into the fall, cases have soared, with southern Italy’s hospitals especially overwhelmed. Washington Post, "Someone in Europe is dying every 17 seconds from covid-19, WHO says," 19 Nov. 2020 The Consumer Reports rankings reflect the magazine's predictions of 2021 model-year reliability based on an assessment of recent vehicle performance data reported by more than 300,000 car owners. Nathan Bomey, USA TODAY, "These are the 10 most and least reliable 2021 cars, trucks and SUVs, Consumer Reports says," 19 Nov. 2020 Rick and Shirley Hazel were considered model foster parents. USA Today, "Foster kids lived with molesters. No one told their parents.," 16 Oct. 2020 The Tahoes the Sheriff's Office would like to replace are mostly model years 2013 and 2014 with the majority of them having over 150,000 miles. Mike Jones, Arkansas Online, "Budget discussion continues for Benton County," 13 Oct. 2020 But the anecdote at once lends a civil-rights hero’s weight to Wilkerson’s bold thesis and provides the model response to it: a lightning flash of insight about the mechanics of white supremacy. Sunil Khilnani, The New Yorker, "Isabel Wilkerson’s World-Historical Theory of Race and Caste," 7 Aug. 2020 Lego just released a model grand piano that has an even grander total of 3,662 pieces. Andrea Romano, Travel + Leisure, "Lego Just Released a 3,622 Piece Piano You Can Actually Play," 1 Aug. 2020 The 34th annual survey, conducted from February through May, assessed the performance of 2020 model-year vehicles within 90 days after they were sold. Nathan Bomey, USA TODAY, "These are the 26 highest-quality cars, trucks, SUVs of 2020, according to J.D. Power," 24 June 2020 Of course, the two are committed to getting married and starting a family together as part of their scheme to be the model American family for the electorate. Maureen Lee Lenker,, "From throuples to secession, the most shocking storylines on season 2 of The Politician," 20 June 2020

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

5 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Model.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Dec. 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.

Choose the Right Synonym for model


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.


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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