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 Trends in delaying adulthood play out across the decades and lead people to stereotype entire generations. Alexis Redding, The Atlantic, "The Real Reason Young Adults Seem Slow to ‘Grow Up’," 28 Apr. 2021 Blackface persists despite its use for more than 200 years to stereotype and discriminate against Black people. Matthias Gafni, San Francisco Chronicle, "$20 million suit says Bay Area school forced boys out for 'blackface' that was actually acne medication," 1 Mar. 2021 People stereotype successful entrepreneurs: put everything in, risk it all, don’t look back. Bon Appétit, "How Tiffany Hall Turned her Cocktail Company Into a Less-Than-Risky Business," 22 Feb. 2021 The fear of how it could be used to stereotype Black men has resulted in it being analyzed as a proxy war first, a work of art second. Jennifer Wilson, The New Republic, "Untangling the Legacy of The Color Purple," 1 Feb. 2021 Tchotchke, however reductive, was a booming cottage industry, stereotype a commodity of its own. Murray Whyte, BostonGlobe.com, "At Peabody Essex, a reset on South Asian art," 14 Jan. 2021 More broadly, Button wrote, people tend to stereotype older workers as inflexible, unambitious, physically and cognitively weak, and bad with technology. Washington Post, "The first millennials turn 40 on Jan. 1. That’s old enough to sue for age discrimination.," 29 Dec. 2020 In late September, the group members opened their workbooks and listed the ways conservatives and liberals stereotype each other. WSJ, "Abortion, Guns and Trump: A Church Group Tries to Navigate America’s Divisions," 18 Dec. 2020 To win primaries this year, most Republican candidates tried to prove their conservative and pro-Trump bona fides—but especially women, whom voters tend to stereotype as more moderate than their male colleagues. Naomi Nix, Bloomberg.com, "Today’s Republican Women Are Running Hard to the Right," 25 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Growing up, students called me every typical derogatory Asian name and stereotype. NBC news, "'GenerAsians': AAPI from Gen-Z to Greatest Generation on racism, standing up," 30 Apr. 2021 Lately, there has been a deluge of crafting content on TikTok, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram, as crocheting and knitting shed the senior stereotype and emerge as fashion's newest fad among Gen Z. Leah Dolan, CNN, "Crochet culture is the internet trend that's both soothing and sustainable," 29 Apr. 2021 Whether due to the gender wage gap or society’s firm hold on the traditional family stereotype, women are implicitly expected to be the ones to leave work to care for children. Udi Ledergor, Quartz, "What too many workplaces get wrong about family benefits," 27 Apr. 2021 Just about each ethnic character in the series is represented by a stereotype. De'angelo Epps, Wired, "Fighting Games Like Mortal Kombat Have Come a Long Way," 23 Apr. 2021 Over the next 16 years, Roget oversaw more than two dozen additional editions and printings—so many that the stereotype plates created for the third volume in 1855 eventually wore out. Claudia Kalb, Smithsonian Magazine, "Before He Wrote a Thesaurus, Roget Had to Escape Napoleon’s Dragnet," 21 Apr. 2021 Azaria previously quit playing the local convenience store owner after the role was widely condemned as a harmful stereotype. Christi Carras, Los Angeles Times, "Morrissey’s manager slams ‘The Simpsons’ for insulting, ‘hypocritical’ caricature," 19 Apr. 2021 Photographs of them can work to firmly refute that stereotype. Time, "What Rare Images of Black Military Surgeons Reveal About the Civil War Era—and Today," 12 Apr. 2021 That stereotype particularly rankles Ms. Garcia, who served as Mr. de Blasio’s go-to crisis manager, taking on the top job at the New York City Housing Authority and running the city’s pandemic meal program. New York Times, "Will Cuomo’s Scandals Pave the Way for New York’s First Female Mayor?," 18 Mar. 2021

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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Time Traveler for stereotype

Time Traveler

The first known use of stereotype was in 1804

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Statistics for stereotype

Last Updated

8 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Stereotype.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/stereotype. Accessed 9 May. 2021.

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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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