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

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 And while the opioid crisis has been stereotyped as affecting mainly whites — who still made up the largest share of opioid overdoses in the city in 2017 — death rates among black opioid users are on the rise. Aubrey Whelan, Philly.com, "West Philadelphia nervously watches as fentanyl kills the unsuspecting," 5 July 2018 For years they were stereotyped as convenience-store owners and overachieving children. The Economist, "The Indian-American underachiever," 28 June 2018 The trend is even spilling over to cruises, once stereotyped as weight-gaining vacations with bottomless buffets. Kelli Kennedy, chicagotribune.com, "From celeb trainer workouts to cruises, 'wellness travel' is booming - and bringing in big money," 7 June 2018 Both sides felt pigeonholed and stereotyped over the years. Lisa Rosen, latimes.com, "'Wild, Wild Country' documents bizarre tale of sex, drugs and religious fervor," 13 June 2018 Since the 2016 election, many folks have tried to stereotype the coasts as the places living in their own bubbles. NBC News, "Meet the Press -May 20, 2018," 20 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Native American artists such as Charlene Teters and Jason Lujan have used racialized mascots in their own multimedia projects, laying bare their underlying stereotypes, as a way of excising them of their dehumanizing power. Sonia K. Katyal, BostonGlobe.com, "The sudden rush of vulgar trademarks," 23 June 2018 So, the series can really explore what happens when a bunch of women are forced to truly play into their greatest stereotype to succeed. refinery29.com, "Glow Season 2 Review: There’s No Sophomore Slump Here," 21 June 2018 But the movie also provoked a giant backlash from the middle-class black community, who were incensed by its ghetto stereotypes and glamorization of the drug economy. J.r. Jones, Chicago Reader, "Superfly rolls back the clock on African-American movie heroes," 21 June 2018 But illness reduces me to a sort of old ancient stereotype of the ailing ghostly white woman and that happens to be a fashionable American aesthetic. Amanda Shapiro, Bon Appetit, "The Healthyish Drink of the Summer is Here," 21 June 2018 Richard Wright was not alone among critics who saw Hurston’s celebration of the black folk as a capitulation to racist stereotypes of black people. Emily Bernard, The New Republic, "Zora Neale Hurston’s drive to tell the story of the slave trade’s last survivor," 19 June 2018 Hollywood’s first black star, Stepin Fetchit, fitted the stereotype of the slow, sly, shuffling Negro. Olivia B. Waxman, Time, "The 'Pressure to Make Good for Your Whole People' and the Story Behind SuperFly," 15 June 2018 Participants told me how these interactions shifted their negative cultural stereotypes of the other side. Benedict Robin, Washington Post, "Why everyone failed to predict the leftist-Islamist alliance that won Iraq’s 2018 elections," 7 June 2018 But the Daily Mail went further and displayed more prejudice, playing on stereotypes of African Americans. Bard Wilkinson, CNN, "Who will walk Meghan Markle down the aisle, if not her father?," 15 May 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

14 Aug 2018

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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Comments on stereotype

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