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 Under this paradigm, players see their interests as intertwined with that of the league. Nathaniel Friedman, The New Republic, "The Dismal Politics of the Sports World’s “Wokest” League," 1 Aug. 2020 Nor have Republicans or their top donors been as unified as the plutocratic paradigm suggests. Washington Post, "Explaining the GOP’s mix of plutocrats and populists," 10 July 2020 SpaceX, which established a new paradigm by developing reusable rockets, has been running regular cargo resupply missions to the International Space Station since 2012. Nadia Drake, National Geographic, "The future of spaceflight—from orbital vacations to humans on Mars," 9 July 2020 The entire ecosystem needs to prepare for a new operational paradigm. Fortune, "Why the future of financial markets is in the cloud," 22 June 2020 Taken altogether, these rapid, major changes in the practice of science represent a Kuhnian paradigm shift, in Doudna's view. Robert Hackett, Fortune, "3 ways science will never be the same after COVID-19," 7 July 2020 To be alive in America right now is to be acutely aware of the paths not taken—to live, essentially, in the Sliding Doors proposition, and in the paradigm of the alternate history. Megan Garber, The Atlantic, "Americans Are Living in an Alternate History," 6 July 2020 That's the new paradigm at one of America’s roughly 4,300 colleges and universities, where administrators are anxiously pushing to resume classes this fall in the face of an unpredictable pandemic. Dennis Wagner, USA TODAY, "Colleges are racing to create 'a new sense of normalcy.' Will new rules, COVID-19 testing be enough?," 5 July 2020 This crisis created a unique opportunity to fully reimagine and transform our healthcare delivery system that will be co-created with hospitals and rely on a new, more decentralized paradigm, supported by technology and advanced logistics. Raphael Rakowski, Scientific American, "A Vision of Healthcare In a Post COVID-19 World," 22 June 2020

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

4 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Paradigm.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Aug. 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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