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

Historically, black women have been stereotyped, marginalized, or altogether missing in these narratives. Anne Showalter, Smithsonian, "The Fierce Pride and Passion of Rhinestone Fashion," 9 Aug. 2019 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

For Flahive and Mensch, the challenge was to find the depth in these stories while managing an unwieldy amount of characters and expositional detail, and to do it amid a hurricane of glitter, cultural stereotypes, and body slams. Sarah Larson, The New Yorker, "In Season 3, “GLOW” Raises the Stakes," 30 Aug. 2019 So the old stereotype of the college professor driving a Volvo may have to be revised, as Volvo offers few if any products in the Outback's market segments. Larry Printz, Dallas News, "The 2020 Subaru Outback is a family hauling staple, even after six generations," 10 Aug. 2019 Their influence is not necessarily negative, though that is the stereotype: The powers of the popular crowd seem to work in service of beneficial behaviors too, like volunteering or helping classmates who are having a hard time. Joe Pinsker, The Atlantic, "‘Popular’ Kids Aren’t That Special," 8 Aug. 2019 While philosophers and historians have long debated the persistence of anti-Jewish stereotypes, Jewish comedians have been trying to undermine their peddlers with laughs. Steve North, sun-sentinel.com, "Jewish comedians aim to deflate modern anti-Semitism with laughs," 18 July 2019 While plenty of the other folks in this production are cartoonish stereotypes, Falstaff is comparatively underplayed. Christopher Arnott, courant.com, "A funny, slapstick ‘Merry Wives of Windsor’ from Capital Classics," 15 July 2019 There were very specific stereotypes and characteristics about gender that this generation doesn’t have at all. Yvette Orozco, Houston Chronicle, "Pearland all-girl Scouts BSA troop proud to blaze new trail," 10 July 2019 Sure, the role is one giant stereotype, but Mosley pulls it off with style, while also revealing layers of emotion that bring the character to life with honesty and conviction. nola.com, "‘Kinky Boots’ kicks up its musical heels at the Saenger," 15 June 2019 In the wake of growing hate crimes in America, Maha Elgenaidi, CEO of the Islamic Networks Group, referred to studies showing the incredibly negative stereotypes that many Americans had about Islam. Anahita Mukherji, Quartz India, "A hate crime against an Indian-American unites Silicon Valley’s Sunnyvale," 31 May 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

17 Sep 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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