stereotype

verb
ste·​reo·​type | \ ˈster-ē-ə-ˌtīp , 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 \ or less commonly stereotypic \ ˌster-​ē-​ə-​ˈti-​pik \ adjective
stereotypically \ ˌster-​ē-​ə-​ˈti-​pi-​k(ə-​)lē \ 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

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 The American mainstream often stereotypes classical fans as stodgy and stuck in the past. Patrick Neas, kansascity, "KC Fringe Festival brings an adventurous spirit to classical themes," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Black hair, in particular, has a disheartening history of falling subject to limiting stereotypes. Maya Allen, Marie Claire, "Kelly Rowland's New Music Video Shatters Beauty Standards," 6 Feb. 2019 As more people play PC games, the stereotypes are melting away, and the choices are broadening along with the demographics. Melissa Riofrio, PCWorld, "Lenovo's Legion Y530 and Legion Y7000 gaming laptops are designed to be subtle," 11 June 2018 Yesenia Barraza, a 33-year-old soccer mom, hopes Culiacan can overcome the stereotype of being a drug hub. Carlos Rodriguez And Amy Guthrie, Fox News, "Maradona to coach soccer club in Mexico's cartel heartland," 10 Sep. 2018 About two years ago, some older members of the company’s leadership harbored stereotypes of millennials as entitled and needing excessive amounts of feedback. Ed Frauenheim, Fortune, "How Workday Became One of the Best Places to Work for Millennials," 26 June 2018 At first, they were caught up in negative stereotypes of male ballet dancers, but by the end, the people of Everington focused on nurturing the boy's blossoming talent. Cleve R. Wootson Jr., Washington Post, "‘Billy Elliot’ shows canceled in Hungary amid cries that musical is ‘gay propaganda’," 23 June 2018 Lukach’s voice — unsparing and even ruthless, but grounded in love — helps the book vault past the stereotype of an illness memoir. UNDERGROUND FUGUE, by Margot Singer. Joumana Khatib, New York Times, "New in Paperback: ‘The Book That Changed America,’ ‘Manhattan Beach’," 22 June 2018 The play has been roundly denounced over the years for allegedly perpetuating ugly stereotypes of gay men as self-hating and pathological. Albert Williams, Chicago Reader, "Archive Dive / Arts / LGBT / Theater A year before Stonewall, there was The Boys in the Band, the first successful mainstream play with all gay characters," 26 Mar. 2018 Your résumé doesn’t look like a checklist of stereotypes. Tasha Robinson, The Verge, "Steven Yeun on Burning, The Walking Dead, and changing roles for Asian-Americans," 4 Nov. 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 Feb 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 , 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 , ˈstir- \
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 \ also stereotypic \ -​ik \ adjective

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esteemed in general opinion

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