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 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 Blackface originated in the 19th century as a way for white actors to stereotype black Americans. James Brooks, Anchorage Daily News, "Alaska House candidate dressed in blackface in 2012," 12 June 2020 Trying to reclaim a part of themselves that has been shunned and stereotyped. al, "Alabama artist’s sculpture on display in Chicago park," 17 Jan. 2020 Salespeople can also be stereotyped as pushy, smooth-talking, or dishonest. Jackie Pilossoph, chicagotribune.com, "Column: This holiday season, give a knowing nod to the salespeople in your life," 5 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun A day in the founder’s life looks a whole lot different from the hustle-heavy stereotype of entrepreneurship. Brittany Hutson, Bon Appétit, "This Founder Wants You to Stop Doomscrolling and Start Drawing Cards," 23 Feb. 2021 Coker makes Denise someone subtler than a stereotype of the short-timer. Jim Higgins, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Next Act's sardonic 'Principal Principle' puts teachers on the spot," 19 Feb. 2021 As a result of this sort of culture, the stereotype of dancers as servile bodies that are better seen than heard unfortunately calcified long ago. Sydney Skybetter, Wired, "How Choreography Can Help Robots Come Alive," 7 Feb. 2021 There are reasons for the stereotype of hard-drinking, substance-using young adults, as photos and videos from bars and college parties will attest. Ty Schepis, The Conversation, "College-age kids are drinking less alcohol – but smoking more marijuana," 19 Nov. 2020 Most are lighthearted, kind and fun-loving, like @420Doggface280, in direct opposition to their prevailing stereotype. Los Angeles Times, "Here are the top Latino media moments of 2020 — and hints of what to expect in 2021," 31 Dec. 2020 Deantha Edmunds, an Inuk soprano who translated her part into her native Inuttitut, said showcasing Indigenous opera divas would also help combat the stereotype that people like her were more likely to be seen hunting than singing arias. Dan Bilefsky, New York Times, "A ‘Messiah’ for the Multitudes, Freed From History’s Bonds," 21 Dec. 2020 Even his skin tone has changed — lightened — into a pale reflection of that famous image, so pale that the makers of With Drawn Arms don’t realize the offense of turning him into a stereotype. Armond White, National Review, "With Drawn Arms Presents a BLM Puppet Show," 16 Dec. 2020 While the stereotype says women are upset with men for hunting too much, Holly has found the reverse is more often true among her friends. Christine Peterson, Outdoor Life, "Hunting Can Ruin Your Marriage. Or Make It Stronger," 15 Dec. 2020

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

13 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Stereotype.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/stereotype. Accessed 8 Mar. 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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