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

Other Words from paradigm

paradigmatic \ ˌper-​ə-​dig-​ˈma-​tik How to pronounce paradigm (audio) , ˌpa-​rə-​ \ adjective
paradigmatically \ ˌper-​ə-​dig-​ˈma-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce paradigm (audio) , ˌpa-​rə-​ \ adverb

Did you know?

Paradigm traces to a Greek verb meaning "to show," and has been used in English to mean "example" or "pattern" since the 15th century. Some debate exists, however, about what kind of example qualifies as a paradigm. Some people say it's a typical example, while others insist it must be an outstanding or perfect example. The scientific community has added to the confusion by using it to mean "a theoretical framework," a sense popularized by American scientist Thomas S. Kuhn in the second edition of his influential book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, published in 1970. In that work, Kuhn admitted that he had used paradigm in 22 different ways. Some usage commentators now advise avoiding the term entirely on the grounds that it is overused.

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 See More
Recent Examples on the Web The paradigm shift transcended new technologies; investments were made in adopting new business processes. Guy Courtin, Forbes, 1 Aug. 2022 But the paradigm shift toward real-zero emissions goals remains in its infancy and could bring some economic disruption, dramatically altering or eliminating industries that rely on fossil fuels, such as oil and gas, the advocates said. Max Zahn, ABC News, 17 July 2022 The approach to the data center’s water and energy use, and even its weird robot dogs and super-sensitive drones, Swenson said, is all about creating a paradigm shift in the industry. Leia Larsen, The Salt Lake Tribune, 11 July 2022 Regulating the metaverse will require active involvement and coordination among business leaders, policymakers and consumers, necessitating a new paradigm of cooperation and accountability. Eric Reicin, Forbes, 15 July 2022 Everyone was very scared about this whole new paradigm. Anne Nickoloff, cleveland, 6 Apr. 2022 Multi-cloud, multi-tool environments keep growing larger, more complex and more expensive, but enterprises are still operating in a pre-pandemic paradigm, with cloud strategies built for more limited, smaller-scale cloud environments. Jeff Kukowski, Forbes, 22 June 2022 So what exactly is the central processor in this outside-in paradigm? György Buzsáki, Scientific American, 14 May 2022 So a big part of the vision is a shift in paradigm. Nara Schoenberg, Chicago Tribune, 10 May 2022 See More

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.

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

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Last Updated

5 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Paradigm.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Aug. 2022.

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