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 The pandemic might accelerate a shift in the policy paradigm that was already taking shape. Osita Nwanevu, The New Republic, "It’s Time to Build a Better Political Culture," 29 Apr. 2020 So, what’s the biological foundation of the food and mood paradigm? Natalie Meade, Quartz, "The key to good mental health in quarantine is in the food you eat," 24 Apr. 2020 In this paradigm, the office of the presidency is bigger than just one man. Andrew T. Walker, National Review, "Understanding Why Religious Conservatives Would Vote for Trump," 10 Feb. 2020 In the new stakeholder paradigm, salaries should instead align with the new measure of long-term shared value creation. Klaus Schwab, Time, "What Kind of Capitalism Do We Want?," 2 Dec. 2019 The Avs are rich in this new defensive paradigm, and Johnson has a front-row seat to it. Joe Nguyen, The Denver Post, "Broncos vs. Jaguars — a roundup of Denver’s Week 4 loss to Jacksonville," 30 Sep. 2019 To watch The West Wing is to spend time in a different paradigm—to be whisked back in time to a moment when news still gave the illusion of orderliness. Megan Garber, The Atlantic, "Desperately Seeking C.J.," 25 Sep. 2019 In one paradigm, participants read two different articles, one that matched their personal goals and pursuits, and one that did not. Cindi May, Scientific American, "Life Advice: Don’t Find Your Passion," 9 Oct. 2018 After Illinois contested the ERA ratification extension, court battles continued, while the American people endured a paradigm shift under a new president. Erin Corbett,, "What Is The ERA? A Timeline Of The Equal Rights Amendment, From Mrs. America To Today," 15 Apr. 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

14 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Paradigm.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Jun. 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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