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

But at the same time, there was a lot of anxiety within the community about how black people were being portrayed in films and whether the films promoted positive images or fed into stereotypes. New York Times, "‘Shaft’ Made Richard Roundtree a Star. But Store Clerks Still Tailed Him.," 14 June 2019 Unlike the stereotypes politicians use as examples to prove their points for or against immigration, Aida Hernandez is a hard-working but flawed woman, victimized not only by the system but by her own mistakes as well. Sandra Dallas, The Denver Post, "Regional books: “Denver School Book,” “Aloha Rodeo” and more," 13 June 2019 Due to this negative stereotype that has haunted Black dads for generations, the Black fathers of today have something to prove. Danielle Pointdujour, Essence, "How This Black Man Is Changing The Narrative Of Fatherhood One Positive Image At A Time," 13 June 2019 Youssef is using his time in the spotlight to counteract the negative stereotypes propagated even beyond Hollywood’s reach. Rosy Cordero, EW.com, "Watch Ramy Youssef discuss 'Uncle Donald Trump' in first comedy special Feelings," 12 June 2019 Kaling doesn’t settle for outlandish villains or shameless stereotypes. Michael Phillips, chicagotribune.com, "‘Late Night’ review: A writers’ room of one’s own, with Mindy Kaling and Emma Thompson," 12 June 2019 Always as an award-winning example of the way in which stereotypes can be flipped to deliver a message about female power. Cassie Werber, Quartz at Work, "Women are making advertising funnier, smarter, and way less sexist," 11 June 2019 That stereotype relies upon a yet broader myth, an idea of the Crusades as religious wars waged by Europeans upon Muslims who had robbed the Holy Land, pitting white warriors against brown—then as now. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "Who Owns the Crusades?," 11 June 2019 Perhaps the film’s most tiresome stereotype is a beautiful young woman named Camille (Maripier Morin), a hooker with a heart of gold who is endowed with just as weighty a brain: her escort website references Socrates and Racine. The Washington Post, The Mercury News, "Review: Take comedy, add philosophy, shake well," 7 June 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

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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Comments on stereotype

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