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

Actress/model Rachel McCord made heads turn on the blue carpet while attending the and DailyMailTV summer party in West Hollywood. Fox News, "Wardrobe whoopsies: On purpose, or an accident?," 14 July 2018 The robber walked into the Wells Fargo branch at 6600 Taft Street at 10 a.m., left with an undisclosed amount of cash, and fled in a white, older model van, police said. Anne Geggis,, "Do you know him? Bank robber hits Wells Fargo branch in Hollywood," 14 July 2018 After 100 hours of work, the student engineered a 3-D printed, five-pound model of an automatic shellfish upwelling process, or a silo cleaner., "Tea by the sea, Korean peace medals, and $2,000 to fight hunger," 13 July 2018 Before getting her hair braided in late June, model Salem Mitchell had a long, wavy weave. Devon Abelman, Allure, "Model Salem Mitchell Is Sick of Black Women's Hairstyles Being Labeled "Ghetto"," 13 July 2018 The brand included Trey Campbell, a singer and model who works with the brand as an ASOS Insider. Alyssa Hardy, Teen Vogue, "There Was Only One Plus Size Model During Men's Fashion Week," 13 July 2018 The woman ended up with a new seatmate, Euan Holden, a former pro soccer player turned model, and chatted with him throughout the flight. Taylor Lorenz, The Atlantic, "Unidentified Plane Bae Woman's Statement Confirms the Worst," 13 July 2018 Lonely Whale, a foundation co-founded by the actor Adrian Grenier, has a (slightly hilarious) YouTube video showing an octopus slapping straws from the mouths of luminaries, including model Brooklyn Decker and astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. Caille Millner,, "A splash of cold water on straw-ban fervor: Many people with disabilities need them," 13 July 2018 The bill states the Department of Education will develop materials and model curricula to provide direction. Emma Austin, The Courier-Journal, "Sex ed, terrorism and revenge porn: New Kentucky laws start Saturday," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Jones said the bill is modeled after one that mandated the release of records from the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Washington Post, "Bill would release records from civil-rights cold cases," 10 July 2018 Jones said the bill is modeled after one that mandated the release of records from the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Jay Reeves, The Seattle Times, "Bill would release records from civil-rights cold cases," 10 July 2018 Obamacare, on which Heritage spokespersons like Jim DeMint have heaped abuse, was modeled on a policy proposal implemented in Massachusetts by Gov. Mitt Romney and first developed in the late ’80s by the Heritage Foundation. New York Times, "Readers Respond to the 6.24.18 Issue," 5 July 2018 Disney will also sell toys that are modeled from the two new rides. Gabrielle Russon,, "New Toy Story Magic Bands, Disney pins are for sale at new land," 28 June 2018 The book stars a young boy named Li'l Rio, who is modeled after Chalmers. Beth Bragg, Anchorage Daily News, "What started as a homework assignment turns Anchorage hoops star Mario Chalmers into a author," 27 June 2018 Readers who have been told that parts for their car are still under backlog may report their cars’ year, make and model, plus the dealership that told them about the shortage, to Ron Hurtibise,, "Despite danger, airbag parts still on back order for some car models," 18 June 2018 Marc Jacobs just debuted one of the first smartwatches running entirely on Wear OS, which is modeled off its existing Riley hybrid smartwatch. Dani Deahl, The Verge, "Marc Jacobs’ new smartwatch gets a touchscreen at the expense of a long battery life," 5 June 2018 Its sponsors said in a press release that the proposal is modeled after the federal hate crime law named for murder victims Matthew Shepard, who was targeted for being gay, and James Byrd Jr., who was killed for being black. Emanuella Grinberg, CNN, "New bill offers police officers protections similar to those for hate crime victims," 8 May 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

17 Oct 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).


to reject or criticize sharply

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