par·​a·​digm | \ ˈper-ə-ˌdīm How to pronounce paradigm (audio) , 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 How to pronounce paradigmatic (audio) , ˌpa-​rə-​ \ adjective
paradigmatically \ ˌper-​ə-​dig-​ˈma-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce paradigmatically (audio) , 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 Chaos narratives threaten the safety of this paradigm and cut through clinicians’ psychic defenses. Jay Baruch, STAT, "‘Stuck in a tornado of life’: a patient’s chaos narrative," 15 Jan. 2020 Kylo Ren wants to pull Rey out of this whole paradigm, man. Darren Franich,, "Star Wars rewatch: The Last Jedi destroys a legend to rebuild the same legend," 16 Dec. 2019 The school is the latest iteration of its founder’s long-standing vision of a new paradigm for education: international, individualized, experiential — and unabashedly for-profit. Jim Rendon, Washington Post, "Can controversial entrepreneur Chris Whittle create a new model for private schools?," 23 Oct. 2019 The fate of either business is unimportant to the fate of the larger open source paradigm. Scott Gilbertson, Ars Technica, "In 2019, multiple open source companies changed course—is it the right move?," 16 Oct. 2019 Tracing guns that fall outside of the traditional manufacturing paradigm would require all 3D-printers to register with the federal government—or at least avail themselves to law enforcement agencies if ever necessary. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Researcher Discovers Way to Trace 3D-Printed Guns—With a Few Caveats," 15 Oct. 2018 Supporters of the new law called it a paradigm shift, centering decisions on public health and safety. Saja Hindi, The Denver Post, "Top 10 Colorado politics stories of 2019: From our would-be presidents to bomb cyclones," 30 Dec. 2019 That deal changed the NFL paradigm of waiting until after a quarterback’s fourth season to offer an extension, and put pressure on the Rams to get a deal done before the opener Sunday against the Carolina Panthers at Charlotte, N.C. Los Angeles Times, "Jared Goff’s new contract puts financial pressure on Rams to keep talent on roster," 4 Sep. 2019 In 2019, there was a paradigm shift in how social media, and pop culture broadly, perceived gay women. Jill Gutowitz, Wired, "Lesbian Culture Went Viral, Finally, in 2019," 22 Dec. 2019

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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Time Traveler for paradigm

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

23 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Paradigm.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 23 January 2020.

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More Definitions for paradigm


How to pronounce paradigm (audio)

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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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).


out of the ordinary or unreasonable

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