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

Children with more exposure to people of other races are less likely to stereotype and more likely to seek out diverse experiences as adults. Erica Frankenberg, The Conversation, "What school segregation looks like in the US today, in 4 charts," 19 July 2019 In classic musicals, Kaats says, people of color and the LGBTQ community were excluded or stereotyped. Kathy Berdan, Twin Cities, "Classic musical ’42nd Street’ revamped for new audiences at the Ordway," 18 July 2019 Regulators will consider the perspective of the group being stereotyped when deciding whether an ad should be allowed. Billy Perrigo, Time, "The U.K. Just Banned 'Harmful Gender Stereotypes' in Advertising," 14 June 2019 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The stereotype that women are over-spenders is misleading; in fact, women are more likely than men to use disposable money to pay down debt. Claire Zillman, Fortune, "Jeffrey Epstein’s Death Victimizes His Accusers—Again: The Broadsheet," 12 Aug. 2019 The Bronx has battled heroin for decades, and the stereotype of an overdose victim is a longtime addict. Annie Correal, New York Times, "‘She Was Like You and Me’: A Death and Life in the Bronx Opioid Crisis," 9 Aug. 2019 Smashing stereotypes isn’t just right, Harris argues. Cassie Werber, Quartz at Work, "Unlock your creativity by battling your brain’s laziest shortcut," 2 July 2019 But the stereotype of them all as bleak thoroughfares in decaying neighborhoods is overblown. Wendi C. Thomas, National Geographic, "Where the Streets Have MLK's Name," 12 June 2019 The idea that world-class residences and nursing care centers or nursing homes are mutually exclusive is a stereotype that Carespring is fighting to break. Jessica Levy, Cincinnati.com, "Carespring communities shatter nursing care and assisted living stereotypes," 7 June 2019 For curve models, the stereotypes around size are yet another barrier to long-term success. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Models on Why Representation Matters," 9 Apr. 2019 Male students and teachers there donned skirts in May during a week-long campaign seeking to break down gender stereotypes. Reuters, The Mercury News, "Boys’ uniforms now include skirts after protest at Taiwan school," 24 July 2019 Their program of workshops, skills-building sessions and other activities is designed not to change opinions, but to allow people bitterly divided along partisan lines to listen to each other and break down stereotypes. Harry C. Boyte, Twin Cities, "Harry C. Boyte: “We the People” — meeting polarization and other challenges," 19 July 2019

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

31 Jul 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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Comments on stereotype

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