stereotype

verb
ste·​reo·​type | \ ˈster-ē-ə-ˌtīp How to pronounce stereotype (audio) , ˈstir-\
stereotyped; stereotyping; stereotypes

Definition of stereotype

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to make a stereotype from
2a : to repeat without variation : make hackneyed
b : to develop a mental stereotype about

stereotype

noun

Definition of stereotype (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a plate cast from a printing surface
2 : something conforming to a fixed or general pattern especially : a standardized mental picture that is held in common by members of a group and that represents an oversimplified opinion, prejudiced attitude, or uncritical judgment

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Other Words from stereotype

Verb

stereotyper noun

Noun

stereotypical \ ˌster-​ē-​ə-​ˈti-​pi-​kəl How to pronounce stereotypical (audio) \ or less commonly stereotypic \ ˌster-​ē-​ə-​ˈti-​pik How to pronounce stereotypic (audio) \ adjective
stereotypically \ ˌster-​ē-​ə-​ˈti-​pi-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce stereotypically (audio) \ adverb

What is the Difference Between cliché and stereotype?

The words cliché and stereotype have a good deal in common. Both come from French, both were originally printers’ terms, and both have come to take on somewhat negative meanings in modern use.

Their original meanings are essentially synonymous, referring to printing blocks from which numerous prints could be made. In fact, cliché means stereotype in French. Their modern meanings, however, are quite distinct. Cliché is today overwhelmingly encountered in reference to something hackneyed, such as an overly familiar or commonplace phrase, theme, or expression. Stereotype is most frequently now employed to refer to an often unfair and untrue belief that many people have about all people or things with a particular characteristic.

Examples of stereotype in a Sentence

Verb

It's not fair to stereotype a whole group of people based on one person you don't like. movies have stereotyped the hooker with a heart of gold ad nauseam

Noun

the stereotype of the absentminded professor the noble savage was a stereotype that appealed to 18th-century intellectuals, who viewed European civilization as decadent and corrupt
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The performances would stereotype black men and women as ignorant, hypersexual, superstitious, lazy people who were prone to thievery and cowardice. Jesse J. Holland, The Seattle Times, "Explaining the outrage: Racist history of American blackface began in the 1830s," 6 Feb. 2019 Asians in America have long been stereotyped as undistinguishable robotic automatons. Michael Li, Vox, "I support affirmative action. But Harvard really is hurting Asian Americans.," 18 Oct. 2018 Popular culture tends to stereotype ham-radio operators as tinkerer-geeks from a bygone era—and indeed, many ham operators enjoy fiddling with their gear and learning about how to operate their radios almost as much as using them. Timothy Dahl, Popular Mechanics, "How to Choose a Two-Way Radio," 10 Dec. 2018 This draws a hurtful line between people who experience psychosis and neurotypical people, further alienating and stereotyping those dealing with mental health issues. Stefanie Lyn Kaufman As Told To Korin Miller, SELF, "This Is What It's Really Like to Experience Psychosis," 23 Aug. 2018 Whereas conservatives are generally stereotyped as smart but mean. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Microsoft is more valuable than Apple again. Why?," 30 Nov. 2018 That is to say the people who might be outraged by an ad stereotyping Chinese culture aren't necessarily the consumers buying the clothes. Mekita Rivas, Teen Vogue, "Melania Trump Wore Dolce & Gabbana After Their 'Racist' Chinese Ad Controversy," 27 Nov. 2018 In some instances, the liberal arguments come from candidates who can sell themselves as trustworthy messengers, even if the message is stereotyped as out of place. Thomas Beaumont, The Seattle Times, "Democrats test liberal messages in midterm House elections," 11 June 2018 Of the 118 study participants Allam interviewed, 84 reported that feminist ideologies carried a negative connotation among Egyptians and that feminist activists were stereotyped. Kim Yi Dionne, Washington Post, "This book helps us understand women’s participation in the Egyptian uprising," 8 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Maybe the best account of the Mall incident is Caitlin Flanagan’s in the Atlantic, particularly how CNN clung to its original stereotype even as contradictory information poured in. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, "How the News Became Fake," 25 Jan. 2019 Bradford herself has found the stereotype has been damaging in a number of ways. Vanessa Willhoughby, Allure, "The Reality of Navigating the Mental Health System as a Black Woman," 13 Oct. 2018 Her character challenges stereotypes of fat bodies as inherently unfit or unhealthy. 5. Mariana Viera, Teen Vogue, "10 Body Positive Shows to Watch," 5 Sep. 2018 The stereotype of the moody, rebellious, reckless teenager is deeply ingrained in American culture. Jennifer Breheny Wallace, WSJ, "Don’t Think the Worst About Your Teenager," 30 Jan. 2019 The local organization uses donations and funding from NewsMatch to expand students’ reporting experiences with the goal of breaking stereotypes about the southern border. Linley Sanders, Teen Vogue, "Nonprofit News Outlets Give Local Communities Control of Media Narratives," 7 Dec. 2018 But shows like Younger and The Bold Type are breaking down stereotypes, featuring women who are so much more than just one thing. Emily Cassidy /, NBC News, "In the Know: Women in the news 7/9-7/13," 13 July 2018 This stereotype is not entirely false, and helps explain the game’s decline in the land where it was invented. The Economist, "How women and children might save golf in Scotland," 5 July 2018 Chopra has spoken about wanting to break stereotypes about India. Vidhi Doshi, chicagotribune.com, "A recent episode of Priyanka Chopra's 'Quantico' has Indians fuming," 6 June 2018

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

Verb

1804, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1817, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for stereotype

Noun

French stéréotype, from stéré- stere- + type

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Statistics for stereotype

Last Updated

13 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for stereotype

The first known use of stereotype was in 1804

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More Definitions for stereotype

stereotype

verb

English Language Learners Definition of stereotype

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to believe unfairly that all people or things with a particular characteristic are the same

stereotype

noun

English Language Learners Definition of stereotype (Entry 2 of 2)

: an often unfair and untrue belief that many people have about all people or things with a particular characteristic

stereotype

noun
ste·​reo·​type | \ ˈster-ē-ə-ˌtīp How to pronounce stereotype (audio) , ˈstir-\

Kids Definition of stereotype

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a fixed idea that many people have about a thing or a group that may often be untrue or only partly true

stereotype

verb
ste·​reo·​type
stereotyped; stereotyping

Kids Definition of stereotype (Entry 2 of 2)

: to form a fixed and often untrue or only partly true idea about It's unfair to stereotype people according to where they live.

stereotype

transitive verb
ste·​reo·​type | \ ˈster-ē-ə-ˌtīp How to pronounce stereotype (audio) , ˈstir- How to pronounce stereotype (audio) \
stereotyped; stereotyping

Medical Definition of stereotype

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to repeat without variation stereotyped behavior
2 : to develop a mental stereotype about

stereotype

noun

Medical Definition of stereotype (Entry 2 of 2)

: something conforming to a fixed or general pattern especially : an often oversimplified or biased mental picture held to characterize the typical individual of a group

Other Words from stereotype

stereotypical \ ˌster-​ē-​ə-​ˈtip-​i-​kəl How to pronounce stereotypical (audio) \ also stereotypic \ -​ik How to pronounce stereotypic (audio) \ adjective

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Comments on stereotype

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