par·a·digm | \ˈper-ə-ˌdīm, ˈpa-rə- also -ˌdim\

Definition of paradigm 

1 : example, pattern especially : an outstandingly clear or typical example or archetype … regard science as the paradigm of true knowledge. — G. C. J. Midgley

2 : an example of a conjugation or declension showing a word in all its inflectional forms

3 : a philosophical and theoretical framework of a scientific school or discipline within which theories, laws, and generalizations and the experiments performed in support of them are formulated the Freudian paradigm of psychoanalysis broadly : a philosophical or theoretical framework of any kind

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Other Words from paradigm

paradigmatic \ˌper-ə-dig-ˈma-tik, ˌpa-rə- \ adjective
paradigmatically \ˌper-ə-dig-ˈma-ti-k(ə-)lē, ˌpa-rə- \ adverb

Examples of paradigm in a Sentence

And the paradigm of a thing to be philosophical about is death. — Jim Holt, New York Times Book Review, 15 Feb. 2009 Such problems drive home a critical flaw in the paradigm of energy independence—namely, that energy isn't a zero-sum game anymore. — Paul Roberts, Mother Jones, May/June 2008 That the biomedical paradigm of single cause and single disease was a chimera was well understood by even its most vigorous advocates. — Allan M. Brandt, The Cigarette Century, 2007 Her recent book provides us with a new paradigm for modern biography. the Freudian paradigm of psychoanalysis a new study that challenges the current evolutionary paradigm
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Recent Examples on the Web

The Padres have undoubtedly preferred high-profile prep talent in recent drafts, but Swaggerty has a chance to break that paradigm here. Richard Morin, azcentral, "MLB mock draft 1.0: Valley high-school stars Matthew Liberatore, Nolan Gorman in top 10," 18 May 2018 Indeed, Cruz, virtually alone among candidates here, barely refers to President Donald Trump and his paradigm-shifting repercussions since the election. Washington Post, "Ted Cruz runs for re-election as though it’s still 2016," 15 Apr. 2018 Some of Cosby's accusers - now numbering at least 60 - have wondered among themselves why their accusations did not trigger a paradigm-shifting social movement. Marie Simoneaux,, "Florida woman blames the wind for the cocaine found in her purse: report," 8 Apr. 2018 The night before the Season 10 premiere, the 14 new queens gathered for a red carpet event on MTV's TRL, and shared their wisdom about Drag Race's impressive longevity and paradigm-shifting impact on pop culture. Maeve Mcdermott, USA TODAY, "Meet the queens of 'RuPaul's Drag Race' season 10 — and see how they're changing culture," 22 Mar. 2018 No story of a new M.L.S. franchise is complete without a breathless account of season tickets sold and stories of paradigm-shifting instant fan bases. Graham Parker, New York Times, "Acrimony F.C.: M.L.S. Teams and Fan Groups Navigate a Rocky Marriage," 2 Mar. 2018 Having created one paradigm-shifting show, Rae is continuing to transform television by incubating others. Abby Aguirre, Vogue, "Issa Rae Doesn’t Want Your Input on Her Love Life," 14 Feb. 2018 The document, meant to spur action at the 2015 Paris climate conference, called for a paradigm shift in humanity’s relationship with Mother Nature. Washington Post, "Pope warns climate change turning Earth into desert, garbage," 6 July 2018 The users sit there dazzled by the paradigm shift in their mode of thinking. New York Times, "Letters to the Editor," 22 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'paradigm.' 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 paradigm

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for paradigm

Late Latin paradigma, from Greek paradeigma, from paradeiknynai to show side by side, from para- + deiknynai to show — more at diction

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Phrases Related to paradigm

paradigm shift

Statistics for paradigm

Last Updated

2 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for paradigm

The first known use of paradigm was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for paradigm



English Language Learners Definition of paradigm

: a model or pattern for something that may be copied

: a theory or a group of ideas about how something should be done, made, or thought about

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More from Merriam-Webster on paradigm

Spanish Central: Translation of paradigm

Nglish: Translation of paradigm for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of paradigm for Arabic Speakers

Comments on paradigm

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


evasion of direct action or statement

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