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 model (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 model (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 But as Japan has experienced several record-setting days for new infections since late last month — Tokyo reported 2,447 cases on Thursday, and the country more than 7,000 — its coronavirus-fighting model has come under strain. New York Times, "Japan Declares State of Emergency in Tokyo Area After Days of Hesitation," 7 Jan. 2021 As with the regular race, Miller runs that number through his turnout model incorporating demographic data from the Peach State's 159 counties. Shawn Tully, Fortune, "Georgia Senate races: Data scientist’s final prediction has Democrats taking both seats," 5 Jan. 2021 Following a week of remote learning coming out of winter break, North Olmsted City Schools is planning a quick return to its hybrid model. John Benson, cleveland, "North Olmsted City School District announces a week of remote learning before returning to hybrid model," 31 Dec. 2020 The original Fox River knife has been a huge seller for Bark River Knives, as is their Gunny model. Jim Cobb, Field & Stream, "6 of The Best Bushcraft Knives Available Today," 31 Dec. 2020 Its model is to identify small borrowers—both individuals and businesses—and supply them with credit from banks. The Economist, "Free exchange Is China right to tame Ant?," 30 Dec. 2020 Eighty-three percent of employers made business practice adjustments, and 1 in 5 small business owners asked their employees to learn new skills to support changes in their business model. Johnny C. Taylor Jr., USA TODAY, "Is my workplace being ageist? Ask HR," 30 Dec. 2020 Formerly a strictly dine-in, prix-fixe restaurant, Delucca has relaxed its model during the pandemic. Anna Caplan, Dallas News, "Southlake’s successful gaucho pizza concept is expanding," 28 Dec. 2020 Mokdad said that his model, run out of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, shows that most of the state’s surge is being led by indoor gatherings. Los Angeles Times, "A new post-Christmas COVID-19 surge as holidays create ‘viral wildfire’," 27 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The researchers used satellite images of smoke plumes and government air quality data to model how much pollution was generated nationwide by fires from 2016 to 2018 compared to a decade earlier. Matthew Brown, Anchorage Daily News, "Study: Wildfires produced up to half of health-damaging air pollution in Western states," 12 Jan. 2021 Dive Design’s process is similar to building standard orthopedics: Study the dog, take measurements, model it out, and then build from there. Boone Ashworth, Wired, "Pet Prosthetics Get a Boost From 3D Printing," 21 Dec. 2020 In those instances, his solution is to borrow math commonly used in thermodynamics to model outcomes using the correct average. Daniel Tenreiro, National Review, "Wall Street Bets Big on China," 14 Dec. 2020 The best way for parents to promote healthy screen use is to model it themselves, Newsom said, and to be honest and open about their own challenges with overusing tech. Elinor Aspegren, USA TODAY, "Teens, 'plagued by loss' in COVID pandemic, are turning to social media and tech overuse," 18 Nov. 2020 Candidates in the Republican-leaning but moderate 4th District generally model themselves as middle-of-the-road candidates ready to work across the aisle to accomplish results for Utah. Taylor Stevens, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Early results show McAdams with slim lead over Owens in fierce battle for Utah’s 4th Congressional District seat," 4 Nov. 2020 And don't just talk about it, but model it as well. Brian Stelter, CNN, "Nine things the press should do as 2020's election season nears an end," 28 Oct. 2020 The researchers used a version of AlexNet to model the ventral visual stream of macaques and figured out the correspondences between the artificial neuron units and neural sites in the monkeys’ V4 area. Quanta Magazine, "Deep Neural Networks Help to Explain Living Brains," 28 Oct. 2020 To pull the phosphine signal out of a messy data set, the team subtracted the background noise using a high-order polynomial, which means more variables were used to model the data than is typical. Nadia Drake, National Geographic, "Promising sign of life on Venus might not exist after all," 23 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective To test their work, Yu and his team are using a model bridge deck located between Arlington and Fort Worth. Brayden Garcia, Dallas News, "A new way to keep ice off bridges is being developed in Arlington," 29 Dec. 2020 The recall is for the second generation of the smart doorbell cameras, which is model number 5UM5E5, according to a recall notice posted Tuesday on the Consumer Product Safety Commission website. Kelly Tyko, USA TODAY, "Ring of fire? 350,000 Ring video doorbells recalled for potential fire hazard after 23 devices ignite," 11 Nov. 2020 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

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

16 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Model.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

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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 model (audio) \

Medical Definition of model (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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