mod·​el | \ˈmä-dᵊl \

Definition of model 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1 obsolete : a set of plans for a building

2 dialectal British : copy, image

3 : structural design a home on the model of an old farmhouse

4 : a usually miniature representation of something a plastic model of the human heart also : a pattern of something to be made

5 : an example for imitation or emulation his written addresses are models of clearness, logical order, and style— A. B. Noble

6 : 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.

7 : archetype

8 : an organism whose appearance a mimic imitates

9 : one who is employed to display clothes or other merchandise has appeared as a model in ads for swimsuits

10a : a type or design of clothing girls, self-conscious in their Paris models— Paul Bowles

b : a type or design of product (such as a car) offers eight new models for next year, including a completely restyled convertible

11 : a description or analogy used to help visualize something (such as an atom) that cannot be directly observed

12 : 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

13 : version sense 2 an experimental model of a bionic arm


modeled or modelled; modeling or modelling\ ˈmäd-​liŋ , ˈmä-​dᵊl-​iŋ \

Definition of model (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to plan or form after a pattern : shape legislative institutions primarily modeled on the English pattern

2 archaic : to make into an organization (such as an army, government, or parish)

3a : 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

4 : to construct or fashion in imitation of a particular model modeled its constitution on that of the U.S.

5 : to display by wearing, using, or posing with modeled gowns

intransitive verb

1 : to design or imitate forms : make a pattern enjoys modeling in clay

2 : to work or act as a fashion or art model Each contestant modeled in front of the judges.



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 \ 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


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.


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


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

Like previous iPad Pros, the new devices come in two sizes – 11 inch ($800) and 12.9 inch ($1,000) screen models, measured on the diagonal – the larger of which is about the size of an 8.5 by 11 sheet of paper. Geoffrey A. Fowler, The Seattle Times, "Apple redesigns the iPad Pro, breathes new life in the MacBook Air," 30 Oct. 2018 While other companies explored the same business model, Red Hat was by far the most successful, going public in 1999 with a valuation of $3.5 billion. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "Why IBM Paid $34 Billion for a Company That Gives Away Software for Free," 29 Oct. 2018 Each of the molecules escaping from your cup of joe, according to this model, fits into a particular set of receptors in your nose. Tim Folger, Discover Magazine, "How Quantum Mechanics Lets Us See, Smell and Touch," 24 Oct. 2018 In a homecoming, Irina Shayk, one of Pronovias’s former marquee models, took in the proceedings from the front row. Erik Maza, Town & Country, "The Haute Couture Details That Go Into Pronovias Wedding Gowns," 10 Oct. 2018 Now, the model, designer, and perpetual paragon of Parisian elegance brings them into her home and the interior spaces of other creative Parisians with her latest tome, Maison: Parisian Chic at Home (Flammarion, 2018). Lindsey Tramuta, Condé Nast Traveler, "Ines de la Fressange and Marin Montagut on How to Achieve 'Parisian Chic'," 1 Oct. 2018 The good news is that the brand offers two additional models: the Roomba 890 and Roomba 690 for less. Lindsey Murray, Good Housekeeping, "If You Want to Invest in a Robotic Vacuum, Get the iRobot Roomba 960," 1 Oct. 2018 Alexis Ren and Alan Bertsen Alexis is a model who has nearly 13 million followers on her Instagram alone. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "'Dancing with the Stars' Just Announced the Cast for Season 27 and We Can't Wait to Watch," 12 Sep. 2018 Josephine Skriver and Jasmine Tookes, the models behind @JoJa on Instagram, are more like fitness spouses than fitness pals. Leah Prinzivalli, SELF, "Why the Medicine Ball Slam Is a Great Cardio and Strength Exercise," 21 Aug. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Researchers used computer simulations to model the Northern Hemisphere’s atmosphere and noctilucent clouds from 1871 to 2008, according to the study, which was published last week in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. Katie Camero,, "Once-rare cloud is now more common, and new study says climate change is to blame," 13 July 2018 This is the sort of team that Southgate is trying to model England after., "World Cup Daily Podcast: Just How Far Can England Go?," 3 July 2018 International Baccalaureate is a curriculum designed to model the rigorous Swiss coursework designed to train diplomats, rather than a universal coursework for ambitious students. Joseph Klunder,, "High school students should consider community college coursework," 26 June 2018 Inspectors also cited the refinery for numerous instances of improperly managing and storing hazardous waste on the property, as well as failing to accurately model a worst-case scenario for an accidental release of butane at the facility. David R. Baker, San Francisco Chronicle, "Shell’s Martinez refinery will upgrade to settle federal complaint," 5 June 2018 AMD Threadripper 2 will be modeled on the second-generation Ryzen processor, based on 12nm, and the Zen+ architecture. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "AMD tops Intel with its 32-core Threadripper 2, which will ship this year," 5 June 2018 More strikingly, advocates of MAS will point out that the board voted to model the course after one in the Houston Independent School District that’s called Mexican American Studies. Elaine Ayala, San Antonio Express-News, "Mexican American Studies scholars waging fight against SBOE this week," 27 May 2018 The point, however, is not macrocosmic trend-tracking, but microcosmic customization: to predictively model the perceptions and preferences of increasingly narrow demographic clusters. Michelle Weber, Longreads, "Great News Everyone, We’ll Never Have Shared Food Experiences Ever Again," 15 May 2018 Nix has said that the firm's profiles helped shape Trump's strategy — statements disputed by other campaign officials — but also that Cambridge did not have enough time to comprehensively model Trump voters. Anchorage Daily News, "Consultants for Trump misused Facebook data of millions," 18 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Apple set the model ten years ago with the iOS app store, a well-manicured software ecosystem that’s far-reaching enough to draw in developers and controlled enough to keep out junk. Russell Brandom, The Verge, "Will third-party plugins survive the tech backlash?," 6 July 2018 In the Porter House, there will be a model railroad display by Poway Station and a model train display from the Motor Men. Emily Sorensen, Pomerado News, "Old-Fashioned Fourth of July offers patriotic fun," 29 June 2018 After the Birth of Her Son At the end of the day, the stunning space for DJ represents the design visions of both the singer and her model husband, 26. Melody Chiu,, "Jordin Sparks' Designer (and Cousin!) Opens Up About the Singer's 'Timeless and Classy' Nursery," 29 June 2018 Former Liverpool defender John Arne Riise took his job very seriously, and was always a model professional., "WATCH: Ex-Liverpool Star John Arne Riise Tries Beer for the First Time & His Reaction Is Priceless," 18 June 2018 Here’s what a model school district policy on suicide prevention looks like, according to the program: Protecting the health and well-being of all students is of utmost importance to the school district. Valerie Strauss, Washington Post, "Suicide: How schools should approach the subject with students," 8 June 2018 Spears' model beau Sam Asghari just couldn't wait until Wednesday. Abby Jones, Billboard, "Britney Spears' Boyfriend Shares Adorable 'Woman Crush Everyday' Post," 4 Apr. 2018 The researchers have helped model resource management and other processes in smart cities powered by artificial intelligence. Mara Hvistendahl, Science | AAAS, "A revered rocket scientist set in motion China’s mass surveillance of its citizens," 14 Mar. 2018 But Swift’s squad sparked some heated controversy for being all white and model perfect. Kayleen Schaefer, Glamour, "Female Friendships Are More Crucial Than Ever—So Why Do We Still Love a Catfight?," 13 Feb. 2018

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 1


1613, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


1831, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for model


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


see model entry 1

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Statistics for model

Last Updated

14 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for model

The first known use of model was in 1570

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More Definitions for model



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 \

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 \

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 \

Medical Definition of model (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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Comments on model

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


playful or foolish behavior

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