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

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

So why not watch a show that celebrates immigrants instead of stereotyping them? Emily Bloch, Teen Vogue, "Skip Trump's Prime-Time Immigration Address With 7 These Other Things You Can Watch Instead," 8 Jan. 2019 With the amount of work moms tend to shoulder at home, dads get a bad rap in the parenting department and are often stereotyped as the fun or lazy one. Elyse Roth, Redbook, "Dad Wins the Internet Today With Message Proclaiming "I'm Not the Babysitter"," 17 May 2017 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Vampires in Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 won’t necessarily conform to those stereotypes though. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "15 years later, Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 is finally happening," 21 Mar. 2019 Now Bottura is having some fun leaning in to those cultural stereotypes from afar, offering Dubai diners bowls of pasta in sizes S-XL, and wheeling a gelato cart across sand imported from Rimini. Adam Robb, Condé Nast Traveler, "Behind the Scenes at Massimo Bottura's New Dubai Restaurant," 27 Dec. 2018 Off-key and maybe inching a little too close to cultural stereotype? Michael Ian Black, New York Times, "Cruises Are So Uncool They Are Cool," 3 July 2018 Workers who are out at the office may still mask aspects of their identity, like relationships or mannerisms that are prone to stereotypes. Rachel Siegel, chicagotribune.com, "Half of LGBTQ workers are still not out at the office, a report says," 28 June 2018 Former Tottenham chairman Alan Sugar has apologized for a racist tweet that poked fun at the Senegalese national team, reducing the players to lazy stereotypes of African traders who sell goods to tourists at beaches around Europe. SI.com, "Lord Sugar Accused of Racism After 'Joke Picture' Tweet About the Senegal Team," 20 June 2018 The network needs to do a better job of hiring LGBTQ show hosts without reverting to stereotypes. Kate Wagner, Curbed, "We need a new kind of HGTV," 30 May 2018 But just as Gillen’s friend didn’t know how to swim until someone taught him, Gillen didn’t know better than to revert to stereotypes until someone taught him. Melinda Henneberger, kansascity, "Should Mizzou students be tossed from campus election for Twitter transgressions? | The Kansas City Star," 11 Mar. 2018 The Fab Five were heartless in a way that catered perfectly to 1990s homophobic stereotypes but was also genuinely funny. Josephine Livingstone, New Republic, "Queer Eye is Back," 12 Feb. 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

8 May 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

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

Medical Definition of stereotype

: 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

stereotype transitive verb stereotyped; stereotyping

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